After office workers were arrested for allegedly leaking chauffeur expenses of a Tory police commissioner, his office have now admitted that the detentions followed a complaint from his office:
And it gets much worse for Richard Rhodes. Cumbria’s Police and Crime Panel — the statutory body responsible responsible for scrutinising the commissioner — have written to Rhodes asking a number of pointed questions:
1. When exactly were you made aware of the amounts being spent on chauffer driven vehicles for your use?
2. When exactly did you make the decision to stop using such vehicles?
3. Your spokesperson stated that you took the decision to re-pay the costs of these trips, but only after the issue was raised in the press. When exactly did you take that decision and why did you wait until the issue became public knowledge?
4. Your office has purchased a vehicle for your use, when was this vehicle purchased, what is its value and when was it delivered?
5. You have stated that you have no influence over operational policing; however your statement said that you raised “concerns” about this issue with constabulary.
Labour can smell blood:
Having apparently overreacted to a public interest leak
to local newspaper journalists, Rhodes now has the attention of the national broadcast and print media
, along with the regional police watchdog
and Her Majesty’s Opposition
More: Read the watchdog’s letter in full »
- Tory PPC clocked up £700 in bills for trips in Mercedes
- Richard Rhodes spent £385 on evening trip to THE PUB
- Two staff now arrested for exposing his expenses
A police and crime commissioner has ‘had two members of staff arrested’ for allegedly leaking embarrassing details of taxpayer-funded trips in a chauffeur driven Mercedes. Tory Richard Rhodes, PCC for Cumbria, took the journeys despite being provided with a car to carry out his duties.
Two civilian staff were arrested on suspicion of data protection offences and misconduct in a public office after the details of the following evening excursions were leaked to the local press:
- £385 on a visit to the Pheasant Inn pub and hotel on the shore of scenic Bassenthwaite Lake
- £313 on another round trip from him and his wife to visit Rydal Hall in Ambleside
“As a result of the long hours the commissioner was working it was decided for personal safety reasons that support would be provided in terms of a driver for some evening functions with long and late return journeys.”
Scrapbook wonders what is wrong with being dropped off by a normal private hire firm – as opposed to an executive service that waited for Rhodes outside the venues. The two trips took nearly 16 hours in total.
We’re sure government ministers wish they could have people arrested for leaking.
None of them are in charge of a police force though.
- Tory owner of drain company is deputy commissioner
- Taxpayer to shell out £175,000 for no police experience
- Appointment part of growing ‘jobs for the boys’ culture
The Tory PCC for Humberside has employed a local councillor with no police experience as his £45,000 per-year deputy commissioner. Matthew Grove gave his ‘best mate’ Paul Robinson to the role despite criticism of an emerging ‘jobs for the boys’ culture in police commissioner appointments.
On the election trail, Grove told voters that he disagreed with deputy commissioner roles, describing working with both a chief constable and senior aide as “three in a bed”. Having handed the job to the managing director of a drain cleaning company, however, he now finds himself on the defensive:
“Being my deputy is a full-time job and not some political jolly. He will … help deliver my targets and manifesto pledges.”
Despite an election pledge to “spend every penny wisely”, Commissioner Grove will throw at least £175,000 during his term at employing someone with no experience of the criminal justice system. With Osborne’s cuts meaning 440 Humberside officers are to be slashed, Grove could have saved the jobs of two junior constables.
The pair seems rather better qualified as a political hatchet men. Both were reportedly rebels in a “dirty dozen” coup attempt to oust their own leader on East Riding Council.
Scrapbook hopes Robinson realises that his job is to clean up crime … not drains.