Cleveland Police Authority cash plea over misconduct probe

Stuart Drummond Stuart Drummond said the authority was fully supporting the investigation

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Cleveland Police Authority has applied to the Home Office for help in meeting the costs of a misconduct inquiry.

Operation Sacristy has led to the suspension of Chief Constable Sean Price and his deputy Derek Bonnard, both of whom deny any wrongdoing.

Since it began in April it has cost about £100,000 a month.

The authority said it did not want to fund it from its frontline policing budget but did not know when it would end or what the final cost would be.

It has made a formal application to Nick Herbert, Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, under Section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003, which has provisions for a Special Police Authority Grant to be made.

The operation, which is being carried out by Warwickshire Police, is investigating a number of people with current or past associations with Cleveland Police Authority and the manner in which the authority conducted some of its business.

Stuart Drummond, chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, said: "We fully support the investigation and understand that it must run its course, however there are significant financial implications.

"We have therefore submitted a formal application to the Home Office for a special grant which, if approved, would assist the authority in meeting some or all of the costs of Operation Sacristy.

"There are many financial pressures on the authority moving forwards, given the savings that have to be found under the Comprehensive Spending Review, and we are committed to not taking any money out of frontline policing budgets to pay for this investigation."

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