July 30 2014 Latest news:
Annabelle Dickson, Political Editor
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Stephen Bett has temporarily stepped aside after the police watchdog has launched a probe into his expenses.
The Norfolk crime tsar said he wanted to avoid damage to the office of the PCC after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was launching an investigation into whether his claim for more than £3,000 in mileage expenses from his home to official headquarters was correct.
City of London police will be looking into whether the claims for expenses made by Mr Bett between 15 November 2012 and 31 October 2013 were valid.
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.
“I have every confidence that the IPCC’s investigation will fully exonerate me. I have at all times been transparent and done everything above board,” he added.
In a statement the IPPC said: “A complaint about the claims was sent by Norfolk’s Police and Crime Panel to the IPCC in December 2013.
“The IPCC requested further information that was received in January 2014. In March, following an assessment, the complaint was sent back to the Panel for it to determine whether it was making a formal referral to the IPCC. That confirmation was received in April and following a further assessment it was decided that an investigation should be carried out.”