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Norfolk police and crime commissioner will not face criminal charges after expenses probe

Stephen Bett was being investigated by the City of London Police, on behalf of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), after claiming more than £3,000 in mileage from his home at Thornham, near Hunstanton, to his official headquarters at Wymondham.

Mr Bett, who has an annual salary of £70,000, agreed to pay back thousands of pounds last year, while maintaining that everything he had done had been “above board”.

And, after the probe, the IPCC has said that there was ‘no evidence’ Mr Bett had committed a criminal offence.

As a result the matter would not be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service and the investigation had now ended, a statement said.

Welcoming the news. Mr Bett, said: “When this investigation started a year ago, I said I had every confidence that the IPCC’s investigation would clear me of any criminal wrongdoing and today’s news could not be more definitive. I hope this puts these spurious allegations to bed once and for all.”

The incident had been referred to the IPCC by the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel, made up of councillors and independent members.

The IPCC stated: “A report from an investigation into claims for travel expenses made by the police and crime commissioner for Norfolk Stephen Bett will not be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“The investigation, carried out by City of London Police under the direction and control of the IPCC, has now ended. It began in June 2014 following a referral from the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel. Nothing in the referral demonstrated there had been any steps to validate the claims made by Mr Bett.

“The IPCC commissioner overseeing the investigation, James Dipple-Johnstone, has reviewed the findings and decided that a referral to the CPS should not be made as there is no evidence that Mr Bett committed a criminal offence.”

Mr Bett became the county’s first police and crime commissioner in 2012. He stood as an independent after leaving the Conservatives, for whom he had been a Norfolk County councillor and chairman of the now defunct Norfolk Police Authority.

Source:  http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/norfolk_police_and_crime_commissioner_will_not_face_criminal_charges_after_expenses_probe_1_3895962

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