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  1. #1
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    Britain: Cleveland Police chiefs arrested for corruption

    And yet the Met, who took all that money from Fleet Street, are as yet untouched.

    August 3, 2011 7:39 pm
    Cleveland police chief held in graft probe

    By Helen Warrell

    The chief constable of Cleveland Police and his deputy have been arrested as part of a criminal inquiry into fraud and corruption, risking further damage to the reputation of UK forces following the resignation last month of two of the most senior officers in the Metropolitan Police.

    Sean Price and Derek Bonnard, are thought to be two of the three people arrested on Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into concerns over how the Cleveland Police Authority, the force’s governing body, may have conducted its business.

    The investigation, which was opened in May by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, is being led by Keith Bristow, the chief constable of Warwickshire Police, in conjunction with officers and staff from North Yorkshire Police.

    Warwickshire Police would not identify those arrested but said in a statement that three arrests had been made “on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice”.

    A chief constable has not been arrested and convicted of an offence since 1958, a police historian confirmed.

    The CPA announced that it had suspended “two chief officers” from their posts with Cleveland Police while the investigations were under way, but emphasised that the suspensions were “a neutral act” and did not mean the allegations had been proven. The authority also said it had referred the matters to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

    The arrests come less than three weeks after the Met police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, and his head of counter-terror operations, John Yates, resigned from their posts over suggestions that they were too close to senior figures at the News of the World during the investigations into phone hacking at the tabloid.

    Mr Price, who has led the Cleveland force for the past eight years, is also under separate investigation by the IPCC over the allegation that he used “undue influence” to secure a job for the daughter of the CPA’s former chairman, Dave McLuckie. Mr Price denies this.

    In a sign that such accusations spread beyond Cleveland, Mr Yates, the former Met terror chief, is the subject of an IPCC probe into whether he helped the daughter of ex-News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis get a job at Scotland Yard. Mr Yates denies that he acted improperly. Grahame Maxwell, the chief constable of North Yorkshire police, was also in May given a written warning after admitting to gross misconduct for trying to help a relative get a job in his own force.

    A former police chief constable who asked not to be identified told the Financial Times that the arrests would raise “understandable public concern” over serious issues in the running of police forces.

    “In this economic climate there is bound to be much more scrutiny of suggestions of nepotism or financial mismanagement and these are the areas where things seem to be going wrong,” the former chief said. “If you are a chief constable, these are the issues that you should be squeaky clean on.”

    A spokesman for the Cleveland branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file police officers, said the news of the arrests had come as a “massive shock”.

    “Our members…are already facing massive concerns with regards to their pay and conditions of service along with pension worries,” the spokesman said. “[The allegations] must be thoroughly investigated and we hope the matter is concluded as quickly as possible.”

    A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers said that the service took a “zero tolerance approach” towards officers of any rank abusing their position, and that the same applied to any member of police support staff bringing the service into disrepute.

    “This is a live investigation and we need to allow this inquiry to run its course,” the spokesman said. “The service is committed to pursuing, without fear or favour, any allegations which harm the reputation of UK policing.”

    Cleveland Police press office could not be reached for comment on the arrests.
    Copied from the FT for discussion and comment.

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  2. #2
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    I cannot begin to imagine the effect this must be having on morale amongst the rank and file members.

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