Top cops have bail extended

Sean Price
Sean Price

A FORCE’S two top police officers have had their bail extended for another six months.

Cleveland Police’s Chief Constable Sean Price, Deputy Chief Constable Derek Bonnard and the former force solicitor Caroline Llewellyn were arrested on August 3.

They were questioned as part of Operation Sacristy, an investigation into alleged corruption in Cleveland Police Authority.

All three were due to answer bail this month, and have now been re-bailed until April next year.

They were arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice.

A spokesperson for Warwickshire Police, whose Chief Constable Keith Bristow is heading the inquiry, said: “We can confirm that the conditional bail arrangements for two men and a woman arrested on August 3, 2011, have been extended until a date in April 2012. No further information is available at this time.”

Mr Price and Mr Bonnard were both suspended from their positions by Cleveland Police Authority after being arrested. Both strenuously deny any wrongdoing.

Investigations began after a retired senior detective raised concerns back in August 2010 and Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roger Baker asked for initial enquiries to be carried out.

A probe into a number of people with current or past associations with the authority was then announced in May.

That led to the three arrests and also the resignation of the authority’s chairman, Councillor Dave McLuckie.

Cllr McLuckie has also denied any wrongdoing in his position.

A total of 22 police officers and staff are now working on the case at a cost estimated to be more than £100,000 a month, with the bill being met by Cleveland Police.