England

Stephen Bett mileage: IPCC considers Norfolk PCC claim

  • 19 December 2013
  • From the section England
Stephen Bett
Stephen Bett has previously offered to pay back the money claimed

Mileage claims lodged by a police and crime commissioner are being looked at by the police watchdog.

Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett claimed more than £3,000 for 70 trips from his home to the offices in Wymondham.

These claims have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The office of Mr Betts, who has offered to repay the money, said the matter now rested with the IPCC.

The issue was referred to the IPCC by the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel, which is responsible for scrutinising and supporting the work of the commissioner, following two complaints from the public.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: "The IPCC received a referral from the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel on 3 December that relates to expenses claims made by the police and crime commissioner.

"Further information was then requested by the IPCC and that is now being assessed to determine what, if any, level of involvement we will have."

A BBC investigation last month revealed Mr Bett claimed a total of £3,024 for 70 round-trips between his officially-designated office at home and the PCC staff office at police headquarters, Wymondham.

The distance of 96 miles was charged at £43.20 a journey. The claims studied covered the first nine months of Mr Bett's time in office.

'Bad advice'

Mr Bett has said, on taking up his job, he designated his home at Thornham, near Hunstanton, as his workplace.

Mr Bett has also previously said he would repay the money. He stressed he believed he had done nothing wrong, but had taken "bad advice".

In a statement, the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk said it would not confirm the amounts involved as they formed part of an ongoing audit of the office.

A spokesman said: "The audit report is not yet complete therefore we cannot comment further at this stage.

"We are aware the Police and Crime Panel for Norfolk has referred a complaint to the IPCC and this matter now rests with them."

The Norfolk Police and Crime Panel said one of the two complaints made had been referred to the IPCC "because it could amount to a complaint of serious misconduct".

The panel said it would consider what action to take over the second complaint following the decision made by the IPCC on the first complaint.

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