Police authority probed

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HARTLEPOOL Mayor Stuart Drummond today reacted after revelations that the police authority he sits on is the subject of a criminal investigation.

A probe has been launched into Cleveland Police Authority that includes a number of people with “current or past associations” with the organisation.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond is a member of the authority along with chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council, Councillor Carl Richardson.

Mr Drummond told the Mail: “It was a shock to find out, but as far as I know I am not part of it.

“However, with it being a criminal investigation I have been told to not say any more at this time.”

The inquiry is being headed by Warwickshire Police’s Chief Constable Keith Birstow, and will be conducted by a team from North Yorkshire Police, headed by Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Mann.

The details and scale of the investigation are yet to be revealed.

A Warwickshire Police spokeswoman said: “Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has asked Warwickshire’s Chief Constable, Keith Bristow, to lead a criminal investigation into a number of people with current or past associations with Cleveland Police Authority.

“The investigation follows initial inquiries into the manner in which some individuals within the authority may have conducted some of its business and initial advice from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been sought.

“Details about the nature and scope of the investigation are not being provided at this time, including the number, or personal details, of individuals who may be the subject of inquiries.”

Chairman of the authority, Councillor Dave McLuckie, revealed that he has received a letter in connection with the investigation, but said he has had no direct contact with those on the case and does not know the details of allegations.

He said: “I want to make it crystal clear that I do not believe I have ever acted improperly during my time on the Cleveland Police Authority, and especially during my period as chair.

“I can not speculate as to the motives of whoever has made these allegations.

“But they should be under no doubt that I will fight to defend my reputation, and I have no doubts that any allegations against me will prove to be entirely without foundation.”

A CPA spokesman added: “The Authority is, of course, aware of the decision by HMIC to appoint the Chief Constable of Warwickshire to lead the investigation into allegations relating to a number of people with associations to the Police Authority.

“We will co-operate fully with the investigation, but do not believe it would be proper to comment further at this point.”