Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner speaks out after being cleared in expenses row (From Blackburn Citizen)
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Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner speaks out after being cleared in expenses row
CLEARED Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said he had learnt lessons about the need for speedy justice after his 13-month ordeal over his expenses.
The former milkman was told on Thursday he would not face prosecution over his claims for £1,550 when a Labour county councillor.
The Crown Prosecution Service said there was no evidence of dishonesty concerning the disputed cash claims, more than a year after former Tory county councillor Sam Chapman made the allegations.
Mr Grunshaw said: “I have certainly learnt lessons from this.
“It has been hanging over me for 13 months and I am very relieved it is all over.
“I have learnt to be very careful with my expenses in the future.
“The CPS proved what I had said all along. I never did anything intentionally. It said that there was no evidence of dishonesty or deliberacy.
“It was a very complex system and I regret making mistakes. “I claim very few expenses now and they are all placed on the PCC website for anyone to see.
“I have also learnt a lesson about speedy justice.
“This was a very long investigation and I shudder to think how much it cost - possible tens of thousands of pounds.
“It was hanging over my head for more than a year and did not make doing my job any easier.
“We want to see a system where justice is as speedy as possible while completing investigations properly.
“We need to reduce delays before and when cases get to court. “Unnecessary delays cause concern to those accused, to the victims of crime and cost the police time and money.
“I think these allegations were politically motivated and Mr Chapman should accept the conclusions of the CPS after a very lengthy and thorough investigation.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched the investigation over alleged discrepancies in his expenses before winning the November 2012 commissioner election.
Mr Chapman alleged Mr Grunshaw 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.
Mr Chapman said: “It is clearly nonsense to claim that my complaint was politically motivated. “I look forward to the publication of the IPCC report when we can all see the evidence and try to understand the CPS decision.”
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