Detective sacked for refusing to take breath test

Dave Knopwood
Dave Knopwood

West Yorkshire Police’s most senior detective has been sacked for ‘gross misconduct’ after admitting failing to provide a specimen for a drink-driving breath test.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Knopwood, 48, was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £1,000 at a hearing last month.

He failed a roadside breath test when he was stopped by officers in Knaresborough on the day teacher Ann Maguire was murdered in Leeds. He was taken to a police station but refused to give the crucial evidential breath test.

West Yorkshire Police now say Knopwood, who has been a police officer for 24 years, has been dismissed without notice for gross misconduct “following a recent conviction for drink-driving”.

Osman Khan of the force’s Professional Standards Department said: “West Yorkshire Police expects the highest standards of professionalism from all officers and staff and will take appropriate disciplinary action against anyone who fails to meet those standards.”

The detective, who has been suspended since the hearing at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court last month, had been head of protective services (crime) at West Yorkshire Police, the division that is responsible for all major criminal investigations in the force.

Harrogate Magistrates’ Court heard Knopwood failed a roadside breath test when he was stopped by North Yorkshire Police officers on the evening of April 28. He refused to take a breath test and told officers he wanted to be taken to hospital because he was not feeling well after banging his head in the police van.