Police chief fiddled expenses over mistress

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A former police chief constable misused his force computer and corporate credit cards, an investigation concluded today.

Terry Grange suddenly stepped down from his post as Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police last November amid claims of financial irregularities.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said today each allegation against Mr Grange, a married father of three, had been upheld.

He failed to attend official meetings to spend time with a woman with whom he was having an affair, and breached the force's expense claims system with regard to her, the IPCC said.

It was also proved that Mr Grange also misused the force's computer system and used it in a way likely to bring discredit on the force.

The IPCC said there were "significant failings" in the force's systems in place for corporate credit cards, and added that they failed to adhere to expense claim policies.

IPCC Commissioner for Wales Tom Davies said: "This is a sad end to a long and distinguished career of a senior police officer."

Mr Grange had been accused of using his work computer to send "private emails concerning a personal relationship", the Dyfed-Powys Police Authority said at the time of his retirement.

The IPCC passed its investigation file to the Crown Prosecution Service, but it said there was "insufficient evidence" to prosecute him for misconduct in public office over the emails.

The CPS also decided it could not prove to a jury that Mr Grange had dishonestly used a credit card, and last month it was confirmed no criminal charges would be brought against him.

As Mr Grange retired, he is not subject to police misconduct regulations, but the IPCC has recommended that the Dyfed-Powys Police Authority sets up "robust procedures" concerning work credit cards and expenses claims.

The force has also been advised to remind all staff about the proper use of work computers. The IPCC recommended "that robust procedures are implemented to prevent a similar incident occurring in the future, especially where a single senior officer can instruct subordinates to bypass force systems".

Mr Davies said: "As a result of this investigation, Dyfed-Powys Police Authority has been asked to ensure that proper procedures for chief officers concerning expenses, annual leave and use of computer systems are put in place, and, where appropriate, strengthened to ensure they are adhered to."