- Tyne Tees
The former Chief Constable of Cleveland Police has released a statement saying he believes the Independent police Complaints Commission have come to an 'incorrect conclusion'
"Clearly, I am extremely disappointed with the result today. I believe the disciplinary proceedings have sadly come to an incorrect conclusion. When the judgement was delivered and I was offered the chance to put forward mitigation I declined – the panel was mistaken in their finding and I could not seek to argue for a lesser punishment for something I haven’t done. I will therefore be discussing with my lawyers over the next few days how this can be addressed.
It is important that the public be aware that the CPS carefully studied this file and decided there was no criminal case to answer.
He added: "Whilst the burden of proof at misconduct hearings is of a lower standard I am still perplexed as to why a misconduct panel could have found against me in the light of the evidence presented.
Obvious hurdles were placed in the way of me being able to lay the full facts of this case before the panel."
Mr Price went on to give examples:
- At a directions hearing on 12.9.12, my lawyers asked that three witnesses should be called and the Chair of the panel agreed that in the interests of justice they should attend.
- None of the three prosecution witnesses attended, we were therefore denied the opportunity to cross examine them.
- In addition, two defence witnesses indicated that whilst in principle they would be prepared to give evidence, on legal advice they could not until the criminal investigation (Operation Sacristy) was completed.
- A main prosecution witness significantly changed their account of events, both before and during the hearing.
I realise that the misconduct regulations give the panel wide discretion in these areas, but I believe a combination of factors meant that the panel were left in the position of making decisions without the full facts having been presented.
I have been, and remain, immensely proud of the achievements of Cleveland Police and the dedication of its officers and staff. They have produced record falls in crime and disorder and won the confidence and support of the communities they serve, winning the title of Police Force of the year in 2011. I am confident this success will continue.
On a personal note, I continue to deny any wrongdoing is this or any other matter.
My action for unlawful arrest and detention will continue and I am pleased at least that Sacristy has conceded it is “unlikely” that I will face criminal charges.
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