The announcement by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute those investigated as part of Operation Sacristy brings to a close a chapter in Cleveland Police’s history.
I fully understand and acknowledge the need for an investigation, however it is now time to put the past behind us. My focus is on implementing my 34 point Police and Crime Plan to the 550,000 residents in Cleveland, ensuring they get the best possible service from the Force and commissioning services in the months ahead.
Cleveland Police is a well-run, well-governed organisation that has made changes over the last two years which include reducing the number of corporate credit cards, updating policies on gifts, hospitality and corporate credit cards and introducing an Integrity and Transparency Board.
An Audit Committee is in place comprising completely independent members, with meetings open to the public.
The creation of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has stimulated unprecedented public scrutiny which is welcome. The PCC website provides total transparency, and had some 21,000 visitors last year. Both Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and the Home Office recognise the tremendous efforts that have been made, and have expressed confidence in the future for Cleveland Police.
Throughout this long running investigation, the overwhelming majority of police officers and staff have remained dedicated and committed to providing excellent service and it is important that we enable and support them to get on with their day to day role of fighting crime and protecting our communities.
Residents and businesses in Cleveland now expect and deserve no less than our undivided attention on this.
Read the CPS Statement in full regarding their decision not to prosecute those investigated as part of Operation Sacristy.
Posted on Wednesday 5th March 2014