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Cleveland PCC denies conflict of interest over two police complaints

One complaint made by PCC Turner related to a Labour election leaflet in blue colours, while the second involved allegations of harassment reported using the 101 hotline.

Cleveland PCC Steve Turner says he didn't "personally refer" any political opponent to the police after two complaints made by him sparked inquiries by local officers.

PCC Turner, who unsuccessfully stood in this month's local elections alongside his wife Andrea, has denied accusations of a conflict of interest over the two complaints.

He made the first, relating to a Labour election leaflet in blue colours, to the local monitoring officer. It was then forwarded on to the police by "local election candidates in Redcar and Cleveland" according to a force spokesperson, not PCC Turner.

The second, relating to allegations of harassment, was made using the 101 hotline. 

PCC Turner said the first “was in line with the process laid out ahead of these elections and related to a vile and misleading leaflet attacking me and my wife", denying referring any political opponent to the police.

Of the second, he said: "The call I did make to Cleveland Police related to malicious communications by a member of the public.

"This individual was spoken to on the phone, not in person, and I was informed a crime was recorded but no further action would be taken as it was unlikely to meet the threshold required by the CPS.”

Mr Turner said it was “not the first time” local police had to “consider threats” against him.

“I’ve had cause to report issues previously and there is currently an individual detained under the mental health act awaiting charge for credible threats against me," he said.

PCC Turner has faced criticism for contesting the council elections given his current post; the emergence of these complaints has seen Labour call for an investigation and the Liberal Democrats claim his position is untenable.

He said: "For Labour Party members and activists to fuel a suggestion that myself or my family shouldn’t report incidents such as this risks them creating another tragedy along the lines of Jo Cox or David Amiss [sic].”

PCC Turner also called out Middlesbrough's Labour MP Andy McDonald for using parliamentary privilege in the past to launch “political attacks” relating to a caution received over two decades ago.

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