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No prosecution for Lancashire crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw
LANCASHIRE Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw will not face prosecution over his expenses when a Labour county councillor.
The Crown Prosecution Service yesterday said there was no evidence of dishonesty concerning the disputed cash claims.
Now, the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel, which oversees Mr Grunshaw’s work, will decide whether to take disciplinary action of its own.
Former milkman Mr Grunshaw was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over alleged discrepancies in his expenses before winning the November 2012 election.
Former Tory county councillor for Chorley, Sam Chapman alleged the new commissioner had ‘double claimed’ for meetings of the county council and police authority in Preston on the same days from his Fleetwood home on 23 occasions, amounting to £1,550.
CPS lawyer Gemma Carsey said: “A file was submitted in October 2013, and all evidence received in mid-November 2013, in order for the CPS to consider if potential charges of fraud by false misrepresentation should be brought against Clive Grunshaw.
“To prosecute this offence, dishonesty must be proved.
“We have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prove any claim had been submitted dishonestly, and therefore there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any relevant criminal offence.
“The evidence suggests errors rather than deliberacy on his part.”
Mr Grunshaw said: “After more than 12 months of uncertainty, I am delighted with this outcome. I am especially pleased with the view from the CPS that I never deliberately submitted any claims which I knew to be untrue.
“Every claim I made was genuinely intentioned. It has been a difficult year.”
An IPCC spokesman said: “The IPCC will send its investigation report to Lancashire’s Police and Crime Panel so that it can decide about disciplinary action.”
Panel chairman and Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Kate Hollern said: "I am pleased there has been a conclusion to the IPCC investigation.”
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said: “You could not see Clive ever doing anything malicious. It’s not in his nature.”
Mr Chapman said: “It is imperative the people of Lancashire should have confidence in the integrity of their Police and Crime Commissioner. I call on Mr Grunshaw to publish those receipts so this can happen. This is something the Commissioner has repeatedly failed to do.”
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