IPCC review crime scene officer's work

More than 300 criminal cases in Cleveland and Staffordshire that were potentially botched by a scenes of crime officer accused of lying about his qualifications are being reviewed by the police watchdog, Independent Police Complaints Commission.

More than 300 criminal cases to be reviewed by IPCC

More than 300 criminal cases in Cleveland and Staffordshire that were potentially botched by a scenes of crime officer, accused of lying about his qualifications, are being reviewed by the police watchdog.

Stephen Beattie, 49, first came under scrutiny in 2011 for his work.

Gregg Easteal was live outside Cleveland Police headquarters earlier today:

A dedicated phone line has been set up by Cleveland Police for anyone with concerns to leave a message for the investigation team.

That number is 01642 301677.

Crime Scene officer's work reviewed by police watchdog

Of the suspicious deaths, 90 cases have been reviewed so far and investigators found eight that could have been tainted.

Sixteen of the arson cases are now with the Crown Prosecution Service to consider possible charges or review.

Stephen Beattie, 49, who worked for Cleveland Police from 2002 to 2011, was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in May 2011 and remains on bail.

He was suspended from duty by Cleveland Police in February 2011 and resigned in October 2011.

He faces allegations that he potentially undermined investigations with substandard work, and claims that he lied about his qualifications when involved in arson cases.

Cleveland is now reviewing all 3,308 exhibits handled by him and has classed 480 as causing the highest level of concern.

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Police statement after IPCC review crime scene officer's work

"Clearly this is a complex investigation, which has involved a significant number of cases which have had to be examined in detail.

"We are methodically working our way through this and we are making progress. We have contacted everyone affected by this investigation to explain the situation to them and we continue to provide specialist support from Family Liaison Officers.

"We understand however that other people may have concerns and we have a dedicated phone line for callers to leave a message for the investigation team.

"That number is 01642 301677.”

– Detective Inspector Warren Shepheard from Cleveland Police’s investigation.

Police watchdog review crime scene officer's work

More than 300 criminal cases in Cleveland and Staffordshire that were potentially botched by a scenes of crime officer accused of lying about his qualifications are being reviewed by the police watchdog.

Stephen Beattie, 49, first came under scrutiny in 2011 for his work for Cleveland and Staffordshire police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has now revealed that 355 of his cases are being looked at again.

In August last year it said that 90 cases involving suspicious deaths were being re-examined, but this has risen to 141. Another 214 arson investigations are also being reviewed.

"This remains a complex investigation covering a period of 15 years and a significant number of cases.

"The examination of those cases is ongoing but is a huge task and will take several more months.

"The most significant cases have been prioritised and any additional work identified has been acted on immediately. Cleveland Police have ensured that families affected by these cases have been kept informed."

– IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts