In response to a Press release from Julian Smith MP issued today (23/11/11) regarding the costs of the initial scoping enquiry by North Yorkshire Police into people associated with Cleveland Police Authority, NYPA would like to issue the following statement.
Police Authority Chairman Jane Kenyon said 'North Yorkshire Police undertook the scoping of the enquiry as result of a request from Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary direct to the Chief Constable. This is common practice when an 'outside force' is requested to investigate a crime/ incident, or investigate the scope of allegations received by the police, in another force area. Such enquiries have over the last twenty years have concerned matters where the host force (in this case, Cleveland) could not provide the degree of objective separation to guarantee the integrity of the investigation.'
'Any criminal investigation falls under the direction and control of the Chief Constable and the necessary resources will be applied to the investigation based on the seriousness of the alleged offences and professional judgement. The operational independence of the police from political or other interference with their professional judgement is the unique element of British policing which sets us apart from the rest of the world and makes our police system the best. Accordingly, neither the Authority, nor indeed the incoming Police and Crime Commissioners, have the remit to influence a Chief Officer's decision in these matters. If Mr Smith thinks that they should have such a remit, then he is suggesting a very dangerous departure indeed from current practice.'
'I also must take issue with Mr Smith's description of this as an internal police matter rather than front line. The investigation by the police of allegations of criminal activities by high profile public figures is, frankly, as 'front line' as it gets.'
'However, from April this year, the investigation passed to Chief Constable Bristow of Warwickshire Police, although officers from North Yorkshire Police are involved in that investigation. At that time, it became clear that the 'mutual aid' provisions were no longer appropriate for the potential length and scale of the investigation and a charging arrangement was agreed between Warwickshire Police and Cleveland Police Authority. I can confirm that NYPA is getting fully reimbursed for the cost of North Yorkshire Police officers involved in assisting that investigation from April to date.'