British police chief and deputy arrested over corruption

3rd August 2011, Comments 0 comments

The head of a British police force and his deputy were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of corruption and fraud, a source with knowledge of the investigation said.

Sean Price, the chief constable of Cleveland Police in northeast England, his deputy Derek Bonnard and an unnamed woman were detained by detectives from two other forces which have been drafted in to investigate the allegations.

Officers arrested "three people on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice," said a statement from Warwickshire Police, a force in central England which is leading the probe.

"Two men and a woman were arrested and have been taken to a police station in North Yorkshire (in northern England) where they will be interviewed later today.

"A number of premises are being searched in connection with these arrests."

Police would not confirm the identity of those arrested, although a source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the men were Price and Bonnard.

Warwickshire Police were asked in May to launch a wide-ranging investigation into people with links to the Cleveland force. They are being assisted by North Yorkshire Police.

Earlier this year, the police watchdog announced a separate inquiry into claims that Price had used "undue influence" to appoint a junior member of staff to Cleveland Police.

Price denied the accusation and threatened legal action against the watchdog.

The arrests are a fresh blow to the reputation of the British police, after two of the country's top officers based in London resigned last month over the phone-hacking scandal at the now defunct News of the World.

© 2011 AFP

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