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Claims of police crisis 'nonsense'

The Mayor of Middlesbrough has rejected claims that Cleveland Police is a force in crisis following the arrests of the Chief Constable and his deputy.

Ray Mallon, who served as a detective superintendent with the force before being elected mayor, said reports of unrest in the ranks were "nonsense".

The 56-year-old was nicknamed Robocop during his time on the force in recognition of his zero tolerance approach to policing.

Mr Mallon said it was important Cleveland Police Authority kept the public informed about the progress of the corruption investigation.

He stressed the need to control the costs of the inquiry, and said he expected Sean Price and Derek Bonnard to co-operate fully with the investigating officers.

Mr Price, the force's Chief Constable and his deputy Derek Bonnard have been released on bail after they were held on Wednesday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice.

A third person arrested - the force's former head of legal services, Caroline Llewellyn - was bailed on Wednesday night.

The investigation, which is being led by officers from Warwickshire Police, began in May after allegations against present and former members of Cleveland Police Authority (CPA).

A CPA spokesman confirmed the two men had been suspended from their posts with Cleveland Police while the investigations were being considered.

Speaking from his office at Middlesbrough Town Hall, Mr Mallon said: "This force continues to be absolutely efficient and effective and I have got the evidence to back that up. Public confidence in the police in this area is very high. I think that is justified and the rank and file - the constables and the sergeants that are on the streets - will continue to protect the public."


From Belfast Telegraph