£1.6m grant for police

A £1.6M grant will be handed to a police force to help with the costs of a high-profile policing operation.

Cleveland Police Authority’s Operation Sacristy – a criminal and misconduct investigation focused on a number of people with current or past associations to it – has been granted the massive cash sum by the Government.

A total of £1.6m will be paid to cover all of the 2011 and 2012 additional costs and Policing Minister Nick Herbert has also agreed in principle to the Home Office special grant covering the ongoing investigation in 2012 and 2013.

This will be subject to the scrutiny process applied to special grants.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond, who is chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, said: “We were hoping we would be successful in the grant application and we would like to thank the Minister for providing the funding. Even without the additional costs of Sacristy, we have to cut spending, but maintain front-line services to the public. This announcement is a great relief in that without this help, we would be in real difficulties and front-line services would eventually have suffered.

“The authority, force and the Sacristy investigation team have all been rightfully subject to a rigorous independent scrutiny process prior to the money being awarded and I hope that this will provide some level of assurance to the public that the money is being spent appropriately.

“There are many financial pressures on the authority moving forwards and as we have always said that we will not take money out of front-line policing to pay for the investigation, today’s announcement means that we can deliver on that commitment.”

Temporary Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Jacqui Cheer, said: “We are extremely pleased and relieved to have official confirmation of the funding.”