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IOPC dismisses four allegations against Cleveland PCC Steve Turner

Four allegations against Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner have been rejected by the standards watchdog.

An allegation of a pub assault and three other complaints about Cleveland PCC Steve Turner have been referred back to his force’s police and crime panel.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said it was taking no further action on four allegations against Mr Turner as there was insufficient evidence.

The IOPC revealed that during the last two months it had received eight referrals from his force.

Three were returned in November and four allegations were returned this week.

But Mr Turner is still being investigated by Avon and Somerset over a serious non-recent criminal allegation of assault dating back to the 1980s.

Two allegations were regarding a historic caution for handling stolen goods from a supermarket in the 1990s. The IOPC said the incident had been investigated at the time.

One allegation was that the caution had not been declared by Mr Turner but the IOPC made clear that he did not have to.

The four allegations it has returned to the crime panel relate to an alleged assault in 2019; allegedly providing inaccurate information to the media; and two complaints from the same individual regarding alleged data protection breaches.

The IOPC said in a statement: “Based on the available evidence, we did not find sufficient indication that any criminal offences may have taken place and they have now been returned to the Panel and Mr Turner has been made aware.”

The IOPC explained its decisions: “When assessing referrals, we are looking for any indication that the evidence and public interest contained within them meets the legal threshold for an investigation to be necessary.

“When a referral is returned, it is for the Police and Crime Panel to deal with any matters in a reasonable and proportionate manner.”

A spokesperson for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “We have been made aware that the Independent Office for Police Conduct has today referred four matters relating to the alleged conduct of PCC Steve Turner back to Cleveland Police and Crime Panel, as they did not find sufficient indication that any criminal offences may have taken place.

“We offer our full co-operation to the Police and Crime Panel in respect of these matters.”

Mr Turner has described the claims that he had been involved in a pub fight in 2019 as “absurd” and had argued the complaints had been politically motivated.

He wrote on social media: “As I and my family go into Xmas it is good that these allegations do not require any further investigation and, whilst it is right that due process happens, quite frankly they should never have been put into the public domain in the first place.”

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