Police chief insists ‘I’m innocent’

Sean Price
Sean Price

A CHIEF constable who has been suspended amid allegations of corruption claims he is “entirely innocent” of any wrongdoing.

Cleveland Police’s top officer Sean Price (left), who is on bail along with his deputy Derek Bonnard, said he was confident he would be cleared.

The pair, along with former force solicitor Caroline Llewellyn, were arrested as part of an investigation being conducted by Warwickshire Police.

Mr Price said “serious questions” remained over the way he was arrested.

Mr Price released a statement through his solicitors Kingsley Napley yesterday describing how he was arrested in the early hours of August 3.

He said: “I have spent my entire career fighting crime, and a few days ago found myself on the other side of the fence with officers knocking at my door at 6am to arrest me.

“I then spent nearly 30 hours in custody and my car and house were searched.

“I look forward to returning to my role soon and resume in leading the best force in the country”

“Throughout the time I was in custody I was interviewed four times and answered every single question. During this time no evidence or allegation of wrongdoing was put to me.

“In the light of this, in due course, I believe that there are serious questions to be answered about the necessity, proportionality and legal justification for my treatment.”

The arrests are linked to a probe into a number of people with current or past associations with Cleveland Police Authority.

All three were arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice. No-one has been charged.

Mr Price added: “I know that this statement also reflects the position and the feelings of Deputy Chief Constable Derek Bonnard.

“I would ask the people of Teesside to focus upon supporting the police and in keeping our local communities safe.

“I look forward to returning to my role soon and resume in leading the best force in the country.

“I am unable to fully discuss what has happened over the last few days, but I must say that I am deeply saddened by the way I have been treated.”

Cleveland Police did not comment on Mr Price’s statement.