Police chiefs’ bail extended

POLICE chiefs at the centre of a criminal probe have had their bail extended by six months.

Operation Sacristy, a criminal and misconduct investigation led by officers from Warwickshire Police, is focused on a number of people with current or past associations with Cleveland Police Authority (CPA).

The force’s chief constable, Sean Price, and his deputy, Derek Bonnard, were arrested in August and suspended as part of inquiries.

Both deny any wrongdoing and have expressed a determination to clear their names.

Former force solicitor Caroline Llewellyn was also arrested in August. Councillor Dave McLuckie, who stood down in May as CPA chairman, but refutes any wrongdoing, was also arrested.

All were on bail until April but have now been told they will not have to answer bail until between late October and mid-November.

A spokesman for the investigation said: “Operation Sacristy continues to progress its investigation into criminal and conduct matters as quickly as is professionally possible.”

The misconduct investigation is thought to be coming to a close in the next couple of months.

The COA plans to dip into cash reserves to meet the expected £1.44m cost of Operation Sacristy over the course of the current financial year.

They are hoping the Home Office answers their request soon to help with the probe’s costs.