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Six crime commissioners probed

Six police and crime commissioners have been investigated by the policing watchdog for England and Wales since they took up their posts two years ago.

The probes include one into expenses claims, and another into an allegation of a commissioner driving without insurance, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

The commissioners are publicly elected and serve a number of functions including holding the police and chief constables to account and ensuring community needs are met effectively, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners website says.

Since 2012 the IPCC has had 43 referrals - complaints made to police forces which have been referred to the body - relating to just over half of the 41 police and crime commissioners.

The IPCC said 14 of those referrals were about commissioners not being registered as information providers. None of those referrals were investigated.

Of the six investigations, information has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over a complaint regarding expenses claimed before Clive Grunshaw took up his role in Lancashire.

Durham commissioner Ron Hogg is being investigated for benefits received while serving with another police force. The IPCC said it is finalising its report and will then decide whether to refer it to the CPS.

Investigations into North Wales commissioner Winston Roddick and Hampshire commissioner Simon Hayes over allegations of electoral fraud are complete and no further action will be taken, the IPCC said.

Kent commissioner Ann Barnes is being probed over an allegation of driving without insurance.

An investigation also took place in Bedfordshire, although the IPCC did not disclose the nature of the probe and said no further action was after a file was sent to the CPS regarding Olly Martins.

The IPCC said it is "managing" a further investigation by City of London Police into travel expenses claimed by commissioner Stephen Bett in Norfolk.

The IPCC says on its website: "When we receive a referral, we will consider the matter and any other information available. Having taken into account the seriousness of the case and the public interest, we then decide on the method of investigation."

The watchdog said it expects to make an announcement soon regarding a referral relating to former police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire Shaun Wright.

He resigned earlier this year following a report by Professor Alexis Jay which found that more than 1,400 children had been subjected to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

Mr Wright was the Rotherham councillor overseeing children's services between 2005 and 2010.

The Jay report criticised the way South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council dealt with complaints from teenage girls who said they had been raped and trafficked by gangs of men.

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