Inquiry ordered into Cleveland 'police war'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An inquiry was launched yesterday into allegations that the Chief Constable of Clevelandleaked a confidential report criticising Detective Superintendent Ray "Robocop" Mallon - the high-profile officer suspended on corruption charges.

An inquiry was launched yesterday into allegations that the Chief Constable of Clevelandleaked a confidential report criticising Detective Superintendent Ray "Robocop" Mallon - the high-profile officer suspended on corruption charges.

Secret advice from Treasury barristers to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) into Operation Lancet - which suggested Det Supt Mallon's detectives had bent and ignored the laws on criminal evidence - was released on the day he called an emotional press conference to denounce his continuing suspension by Cleveland Police after being cleared of criminal behaviour.

Chief Constable Barry Shaw was allegedly responsible for the leak and at a three-hour private meeting yesterday the county's Police Authority decided that he should be investigated, in an inquiry which will be overseen by Michael Hedges, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire.

The authority decided it does not have the power to suspend Chief Constable Shaw while the investigation is carried out but its decision still piles humiliation on him, coming less than two months after the CPS ruled that 45-year-old Det Supt Mallon was not guilty of criminal wrongdoing - despite his near three-year suspension as part of the £5m Operation Lancet inquiry into his CID squad.

The highly-confidential documents by Treasury counselstated that Det Supt Mallon's so-called "zero-tolerance" policing methods had failed and run "roughshod" over the will of Parliament. "Officers who court publicity to the extent which Mallon did will invariably have an agenda of their own," the barristers' report stated.

A senior civilian member of staff, now believed to be on sick leave, has made the claims using "whistleblowing" legislation which gives protection under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.