January 31 2015 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Saturday, June 21, 2014
The office of Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner hopes to be able to make an announcement early next week about its “next steps” following Stephen Bett’s announcement that he is to step aside after the police watchdog announced a probe into his expenses.
Mr Bett, who was elected as an independent PCC in 2012, will be investigated for claiming more than £3,000 in milage from his home to official headquarters. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will oversee a City of London police investigation.
Jenny McKibben is Norfolk’s deputy police and crime commissioner but it is not yet clear whether she or someone else will take the helm in Mr Bett’s absence.
A spokesman for the Office of the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner said: “We’re still seeking legal advice and guidance on our next steps. We hope to have an announcement early next week.”
Although it is not clear whether Mr Bett is being paid while he steps aside from his role it is understood he is entitled to his pay although would be a matter for him whether or not he takes it.
As previously reported Mr Bett said he had taken the decision with “huge reluctance”, adding: “This allegation is not new, has already been independently scrutinised and found to be baseless.
“However, in order to protect the integrity of the IPCC’s investigation, and to avoid any damage being caused to the office of Police and Crime Commissioner or to Norfolk Constabulary, I feel that to step aside from my duties is the right thing to do.”
Police will look into Mr Bett’s expenses from November 2012 to October 2013. He agreed to pay back thousands of pounds last year, while maintaining that everything he had done had been “above board”. He has an annual salary of £70,000.