Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Police Inquiry Has Cost Pounds 457k - So Far; Authority Probe Bill Pounds 100k a Month, Mayor Told

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Police Inquiry Has Cost Pounds 457k - So Far; Authority Probe Bill Pounds 100k a Month, Mayor Told

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY McKENZIE

THE COST of the criminal probe into Cleveland Police Authority has already reached almost half a million pounds, it emerged today.

An investigation into a number of people with current or past associations with the authority was announced in May.

It has now been confirmed that the probe, led by Warwickshire Police, cost pounds 457,000 between May and August.

The sum is revealed in detailed answers given by Cleveland Police Authority chairman, Peter Race, to 14 questions posed by Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon earlier this year.

Cleveland Police is footing the bill for the inquiry, which has no known time limit.

The costs of more than pounds 100,000 a month have raised fears that the ultimate cost could run into millions of pounds.

The investigation has so far led to the arrest of Chief Constable Sean Price and Deputy Chief Constable Derek Bonnard in August on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice.

The pair, who remain suspended from their roles, are currently on police bail. They deny wrongdoing.

Police Authority chairman Councillor Dave McLuckie also stood down amid the investigation.

He also maintains that he has done nothing wrong.

The ongoing investigation is headed by Warwickshire's Chief Constable Keith Bristow, whose name is now among those being suggested to head the Government's new National Crime Agency.

Mr Mallon put 14 questions to Cleveland Police Authority about the investigation.

The answers show that: * The investigation has its origins back in August 2010 when North Yorkshire Police were asked to undertake initial enquiries by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary Roger Baker into matters that had been raised with him and Cleveland's Chief Constable Sean Price by a retired former senior detective of Cleveland police. * There are 22 officers and staff engaged on the investigation but that number is subject to fluctuation. …

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