Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Clarity Call in Top Police Probe

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Clarity Call in Top Police Probe

Article excerpt


MIDDLESBROUGH Mayor Ray Mallon has requested answers to 14 questions concerning the ongoing investigation into policing on Teesside.

The move came as it was revealed the inquiry is costing pounds 100,000 a month - and that the Home Office has been asked to help to meet the costs.

In a further development, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced it is to investigate the conduct of Cleveland Chief Constable Sean Price and Deputy Chief Derek Bonnard following their arrest over corruption claims.

Former Cleveland Police officer-Mr Mallon - who was himself suspended for five years in the 1990s during Operation Lancet when he was a detective superintendent - put his questions to Cleveland Police Authority (CPA) chairman Peter Race.

It follows the launch of a criminal probe into a number of people with current or past associations with the authority. Councillor Dave McLuckie has stood down as police authority chairman. He maintains that he has done nothing wrong.

The Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable were recently arrested and released on police bail. They have been suspended by the police authority.

The Mayor's questions, detailed last night at an extraordinary meeting of Middlesbrough Council, cover issues such as the inquiry costs, scope and timescale. And he told the Gazette: "Both Sean Price and Derek Bonnard are innocent until proven guilty.

"We should acknowledge the wonderful work they have done over the years in making Cleveland Police one of the country's best forces.

"Assistant Chief Constables Dave Pickard and Sean White will lead the force extremely well in the coming months.

"For the time being, the force will continue to perform to a high level but it is vital an interim Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable are appointed. …

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