Police chief in expenses probe

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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is to investigate expenses claims made by Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner.

The claims in question relate to when Clive Grunshaw was a county councillor and a member of Lancashire Police Authority.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been looking at complaints made by a former councillor.

After completing a report into the matter, it has now sent its findings to the CPS to consider.

Soon after Wednesday morning’s announcement, Mr Grunshaw released a statement denying he had intentionally submitted claims he knew were false.

And he vowed to carry on as boss of the county’s police force.

He said: “I understand the public interest in this matter and I wish to reassure the residents of Lancashire that during the last nine months I have complied fully with the investigative process and will continue to do so.

“I maintain that at no point did I wilfully submit claims which I knew to be untrue and every expense claim I did make was genuinely intentioned.

“While I await the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision, I will continue to carry out my role as normal and be the public voice of policing in Lancashire.”

Miranda Carruthers-Watt, chief executive and solicitor for the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), said: “This investigation relates to claims made when Clive Grunshaw was subject to the Lancashire County Council expenses and allowance scheme as a Lancashire county councillor and a member of Lancashire Police Authority.

“The allegations do not relate to any expenses claims during his time as police and crime commissioner.

“The OPCC has assisted the Independent Police Complaints Commission throughout their investigation, and will continue to provide assistance now the matter has been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“While we await the decision of the CPS we will continue to support the commissioner in carrying out his statutory duties, and we look forward to a swift conclusion to this matter.”

Mr Grunshaw was named Lancashire’s first police and crime commissioner after elections in November 2012.

As a result of the Crown Prosecution Service’s involvement, he has been suspended from the Labour Party pending the outcome of the inquiry, a spokesman for the party said.