Cleveland Police corruption probe: Sean Price not to face charges

Sean Price Sean Price was arrested in 2011 and sacked the following year

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None of the 10 people arrested during a £4m inquiry into alleged corruption at Cleveland Police will be charged.

Warwickshire Police began the criminal investigation in 2011 into "people with current or past associations" with Cleveland Police Authority.

Among those arrested was former Chief Constable Sean Price, who was sacked for gross misconduct in 2012.

Mr Price said it was an "absolute disgrace" he had been kept on bail for so long.

He was sacked for gross misconduct in 2012, becoming the first chief constable to be dismissed in 35 years.

A disciplinary hearing found he had asked a member of staff to inquire about a job for the former police authority chairman Dave McLuckie's daughter, then denied doing so when he was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

'Ruined reputation'

He said: "I have maintained my innocence in these matters from the outset, and am of course pleased with the decision of the CPS.

"However, I think it is an absolute disgrace that I have been kept on bail for such a long period without even being spoken to.

"My extremely high profile arrest ruined my life and my reputation, and it is now clear for all to see that it was completely unnecessary, disproportionate and unlawful."

Keith Bristow, director general of the National Crime Agency and former Warwickshire Police chief constable, said Operation Sacristy investigated a complex set of allegations.

He said they related to the disposal of assets, allowances, redundancy payments, hospitality, the receipt of favours, contracts and the misuse of public funds.

Cleveland Police chief constable Jacqui Cheer Current Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer said individuals had behaved "unethically"

"Operation Sacristy was an investigation into both misconduct and criminal matters which I was asked to lead while Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police," he said.

"As a result of our investigation and an independent investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), a number of people have been removed from public office."

Sacking appeal

Current Cleveland Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer said necessary changes had been made including more checks and balances to monitor the use of public resources.

She said: "The individuals investigated during the course of this inquiry have behaved unethically and inappropriately.

"They have let themselves down, they have let their colleagues down, and most importantly they have let down the public they vowed to protect and serve."

Mr Price said he rejected the findings against him that led to his dismissal in 2012 and now planned to appeal against his sacking.

Another of those arrested, the force's former deputy chief constable Derek Bonnard, was later told he would not face criminal charges but was also sacked for gross misconduct, in March 2013.

Documents relating to the case have been released as part of the Operation Sacristy Publication Scheme.

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