The former Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Sean Price and suspended Deputy, Derek Bonnard have dropped legal action against three police forces and the man in charge of the investigation into claims of alleged corruption in the force.
Mr Price and Mr Bonnard had previously announced that they would be taking legal proceedings against the police forces providing support to Operation Sacristy, as well as against Keith Bristow - the Director General of the National Crime Agency.
Mr Price and Mr Bonnard had previously claimed that they had been unlawfully arrested and detained, and that their human rights had been both trespassed and breached.
Three men have been arrested by detectives investigating allegations of criminal conduct at Cleveland Police.
A 46-year-old man from the Cleveland area was arrested on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position, fraud by false representation, corrupt practice, misconduct in a public office, money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud. He was released on bail until April.
A 65-year-old man and a 35-year-old man, both from different addresses in Warrington in Cheshire, were arrested on suspicion of corrupt practice, money laundering and fraud by false representation. They were also released on bail, until March.
The arrests, all within the last week, form part of Operation Sacristy, an independent investigation being carried out by Warwickshire Police into the Cleveland force and Cleveland Police Authority.
I am pleased that the costs of Operation Sacristy will be supported by central government and not directly by the people of Cleveland. However, it is still tax payer’s money that will be used to meet the significant costs of an investigation that has now run for over two years and yet appears to have no end in sight.
Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar, is delighted with the news that the Government has agreed to cover the costs of Operation Sacristy.
The costs have now reached £1.6 million.
He believes that there would be a significant impact on police budgets if they had to cover the costs.
I am delighted that the Home Office are paying for the costs of the enquiry of the alleged wrongdoing at Cleveland Police. At a time when police budgets are under tremendous pressure, it would have been wrong to see the police having to make even bigger savings due to these one-off costs.’
‘I have been campaigning hard in Parliament for this to happen and am pleased to have played a part in ensuring that local people continue to get the excellent service that they deserve.’
The Policing Minister Nick Herbert has awarded Cleveland Police Authority £1.6 million pounds to assist with the costs of Operation Sacristy.
“This announcement is a great relief in that without this help, we would be in real difficulties and frontline services would eventually have suffered.
“The Authority, Force and the Sacristy investigation team have all been rightfully subject to a rigorous independent scrutiny process prior to the money being awarded and I hope that this will provide some level of assurance to the public that the money is being spent appropriately.
– Chair of Cleveland Police Authority, Stuart Drummond
“The grant is most certainly very welcome as it confirms that money set aside forother operational policing will not affected by this investigation.”
– T/Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Jacqui Cheer