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Bedfordshire PCC faces no further action: Family of Leon Briggs 'disappointed' by CRP's decision

Jocelyn Cockburn, partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, the civil liberties law firm that specialises in actions against the police, is representing the family of Leon Briggs.

Speaking on behalf of her clients, Jocelyn Cockburn said:

“The family are disappointed by the CPS’s decision today. The basis for the decision has not been properly explained to them, in particular it is not clear that the CPS has taken on board the IPCCs finding that Mr Martin not only disclosed unauthorised material but did so ‘in a way that minimised the role of Bedfordshire Police in the death of Leon Briggs’. This omission from the CPS’s letter needs explanation as it is relevant to the decision as to whether a prosecution should be brought.”

– Jocelyn Cockburn, partner at Hodge Jones & Allen

Olly Martins, PCC: "I hope that people will be reassured that my actions have been investigated exhaustively"

Olly Martins, Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire.

Statement from Olly Martins, Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire.

Following the announcement that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has advised the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that no further criminal action should be taken, Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins said:

“I am very grateful to the CPS for the speed of their decision, a conclusion which will now draw a line under the matter. Having co-operated fully throughout the investigation, I hope that people will be reassured that my actions have been investigated exhaustively and due process has been followed to the letter, leading to today’s outcome. As I have previously acknowledged, I made an error when I discussed sensitive information about the death of Leon Briggs with my partner, but I welcome the fact that the CPS has clearly established there are no criminal charges to answer.

“Indeed, the advice obtained by the Police and Crime Panel, prior to its hearing in January, from leading counsel Clive Sheldon QC was quite clear and concluded:

‘…there is no indication of a criminal offence. There was no element of seriousness in the error of judgement for it to come within misconduct in public office’.

It turns out this was correct.

“I was always concerned that the focus on my actions may detract from the on-going investigation into the tragic death of Leon Briggs. That is what really matters here. His family, friends and indeed Bedfordshire Police need answers.

“This is also what the public in Bedfordshire deserve. Currently there are seven of their police officers and staff suspended on full pay, costing taxpayers around £26,000 per month for no benefit. A conclusion of the investigation, whatever the outcome, will enable that money to be used to keep our county safe. The longer this goes on, the greater the sense of injustice for all involved.”


Conservative party chooses actor as Clacton by-election candidate

Giles Watling has been chosen as the Conservative's parliamentary candidate for the Clacton by-election.

The Conservatives have selected actor Giles Watling to represent them in the Clacton by-election next month.

The former Bread star was chosen during an open primary in Essex this evening.

The by-election was prompted by Douglas Carswell's resignation after the former Tory MP defected to UKIP.


Clacton by-election timetable finalised

The Clacton by-election has been confirmed on Thursday 9 October 2014. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The writ for the by-election in Clacton has been delivered to the Acting Returning Officer and has been confirmed as Thursday 9 October.

People wanting to stand need to get their nominations in by 4pm on Tuesday 16 September. Voters not on the electoral register have until Tuesday 23 September to register.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm.

Acting Returning Officer Ian Davidson outside Clacton Town Hall with the Writ requiring the Parliamentary By-Election. Credit: Tendring Council

A by-election for the Brightlingsea division of Essex County Council will be held on the same day. It follows the resignation of Roger Lord from UKIP. He had been adopted as the party's parliamentary candidate until he was replaced by Douglas Carswell who defected from the Conservative Party to UKIP.

Wood Green Animal Shelter petition parliament to ban sale of mass-bred puppies and kittens

Violet the Bullmastiff-cross was abandoned. Wood Green Animal Shelter believe she may have been used for breeding.

Puppy farms are cruel and irresponsible - that's the message from an animal shelter based in our region petitioning parliament to ban the sale of mass-bred puppies and kittens.

Wood Green say the young animals are separated too early from their mothers and suffer from serious health problems later in life.

The charity say they have also seen older dogs thrown out onto the streets when they are no longer able to breed.

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