LANCASHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw will find out next month whether he is likely to face criminal charges over accusations he ‘double claimed’ mileage expenses.
A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission said its investigators were finalising their report before a decision was made in the next few weeks whether to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service.
MPs yesterday called for a swift decision on what happens next, with Burnley Lib Dem Gordon Birtwistle calling on Mr Grunshaw to resign now.
Shortly after Mr Grunshaw’s election to the £85,000-a-year job overseeing the county force in November, a Tory county councillor alleged he had claimed two sets of mileage expenses for meetings of both Lancashire County Council and police authority in Preston on the same days.
In the 23 cases, Mr Grunshaw is believed to have claimed £1,200 in mileage and an estimated £350 in subsistence.
At the time, Mr Grunshaw pledged to repay any unjustified expenses, adding he had ‘not wilfully submitted’ untrue claims.
An IPCC spokesman said investigators were finalising their file before a decision whether to refer the file to the CPS to decide on whether to press charges.
“We are talking weeks not months.”
Mr Grunshaw said: “I am not able to comment as the investigation is ongoing, but I am looking forward to the outcome and conclusion of the investigation and moving on from there.”
Mr Birwistle said: “This report should be finalised and decided on as quickly as possible and then published.
“Mr Grunshaw should resign now so the investigations can be completed. He cannot do his job with this hanging over him.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw said decisions should be taken “sooner rather than later for the good of all concerned.” His Hyndburn Labour colleague Graham Jones agreed: “We do not want to see an injustice but we need a decision.”
Pendle Tory MP Andrew Stephenson said: “This report should be completed and any decision taken as a matter or urgency. He cannot do his job properly with this dragging on.”
Meanwhile, it’s business as usual
THE Police and Crime Commissioner joined neighbourhood policing teams in Blackburn for a tour of the town centre.
Officers showed Clive Grunshaw, how the town centre area has been affected by houses of multiple occupation during Wednesday’s visit.
Following the 45-minute tour, he then travelled to Blackpool to see an area which would be affected by the proposed Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Order