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Ex-Chief Constable of Cleveland was highest paid outside London

The former head of Cleveland Police was the highest paid Chief Constable outside of London and claimed tens of thousands of pounds of expenses on train tickets to London and foreign business trips.

The Operation Sacristy team, which is investigating alleged corruption at the force, has now published its full 400-page report into Sean Price.

Yesterday it was confirmed he will not face criminal charges - and Mr Price says his expense claims were all legitimate.

Dan Ashby reports.


Ex-Cleveland Chief Constable Sean Price: "disgrace to see the issue of expenses raised again"

The former Chief Constable of Cleveland has said it is a "disgrace" that the issue of his expenses has been raised, and called the issue a "smokescreen". Sean Price was sacked for misconduct but yesterday discovered he would not face any criminal charges.

He went on to detail some of the trips he has been on during his time in the police and finished by asking Operation Sacristy investigators to explain the £5m costs of the investigation into him and others.

My responsibilities as Chief Constable of Cleveland also included a number of National responsibilities: Counter Terrorism Committee, Maritime Counter Terror Lead, Lead on the reform of Police IT, together with general Home Office and ACPO meetings.

The vast majority of these were in London. This necessitated travel there on a very frequent basis and frequent hotel stays. This is a very similar position to many other Chief Police Officers.

Foreign travel, representing the force or the service, was also part my role and during my time in Merseyside I went to the USA on business, during my time in Nottinghamshire I went to Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Austria and Cyprus.

Whilst in Cleveland I spoke at conferences in Estonia and Denver and also attended meetings at the WEF [World Economic Forum] in Davos and a CT meeting in Doha.

The conference in Denver was attended by over 18000 police officers from around the world and many from the UK.

The Estonia conference was also well attended with police officers and politicians from the UK.

The investigators were aware of all these facts and have unhelpfully not provided any comparison with other Chief Officers, for example the lead of the enquiry has travelled abroad on a number of occasions including (according to published expenses) Italy and Japan.

It is significant that no action has been taken against me on these matters.

I trust that in due course Operation Sacristy will be similarly forthright in explaining how it spent nearly £5 million pounds.

– Sean Price, former Chief Constable of Cleveland

Price was highest paid police chief outside London

The former Cleveland Police boss Sean Price was the highest paid chief constable outside of London, according to notes published from the operation Sacristy investigation.

Sean Price was paid more than £176,000 at one point, after several pay rises. The notes also reveal he claimed £34,000 on train expenses in an 18-month period.

Mr Price says he didn't break any rules, and that the report unfairly insinuates he has done something wrong. Yesterday the Crown Prosecution Service said he wouldn't face criminal charges.

Further details on police corruption investigation published

Further details have been released about Operation Sacristy, the investigation into allegations of corruption in Cleveland Police.

They show that it started because of a claim that the then Chairman of the Police Authority took a significant cash payment to secure the sale of a former police building. That has now been proved to be false.

This comes after the Crown Prosecution Service said there was not enough evidence to charge eight of the eleven suspects.

To see the full reports, which will be published on the Cleveland Police website, click here.

"Catastrophic affect" of Operation Sacristy

The former Chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, Dave McLuckie, has spoken of the "catasrophic affect" an investigation into alleged corruption has had on the families of those concerned.

It was confirmed today that he, and former Chief Constable Sean Price, would not face any criminal charges.

The announcement came after a four year probe, called Operation Sacristy, which cost almost £4m.

Mr McLuckie was arrested on suspicion of gross misconduct in 2011, and he resigned shortly afterwards.

He always maintained his innocence.

Hear what he says here:


Cleveland Chief Constable: "change will take time"

Responding to the announcement that her predecessor Sean Price will not criminal charges for alleged corruption, the current Chief Constable of Cleveland, Jacqui Cheer, said she was determined to push ahead with change.

She accepted that individuals had behaved "unethically" in the past and said cultural reform at the force was vital:

Cleveland Police: "lack of ethical leadership"

The man who led Operation Sacristy, the investigation into alleged corruption at Cleveland Police, has defended a probe which took four years and cost almost £4m.

It was announced today that eight people arrested, including former Chief Constable Sean Price, will not face any criminal charges.

He was sacked for gross misconduct in 2012.

The investigation was headed by Keith Bristow, the head of the National Crime Agency, and former Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police.

Today he described the situation at Cleveland Police when his probe began in 2011:

Cleveland Police "not out of the woods yet"

James Wharton MP Credit: ITV News

James Wharton, the Conservative MP for Stockton South, has issued a statement following the revelation that 8 of the 11 people arrested as part of the corruption probe Operation Sacristy will not be charged. This includes the former Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Sean Price.

"There are serious outstanding questions about the scale and cost of Sacristy given than no charges are being brought against Sean Price...if this was ultimately nothing more than a misconduct investigation then the cost and scale are very difficult to justify.

"We are a long way from re establishing public trust in the way Cleveland Police is run, with a whole host of issues having come up through and since this investigation.

"It is clear there is some way to go and local MPs and the Police Commissioner need to do more to hold decision makers to account than has been the case in the past. Cleveland Police is not out if the woods yet."

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