Manchester

Senior officer Lee Bruckshaw condemns GMP over £500k investigation

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Media captionCh Supt Lee Bruckshaw criticises Greater Manchester Police for wasting public money

A senior police officer has criticised his own force and chief constable following a 15-month, £500,000 probe into claims he perverted the course of justice.

Ch Supt Lee Bruckshaw was accused of trying to intervene in the case of a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) sergeant accused of shoplifting.

He eventually received "management advice" after a charge of perverting the course of justice was dropped.

GMP said its inquiry "took too long".

In an email to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Mr Bruckshaw said the colleague accused, but subsequently cleared, of shoplifting in September 2014 had a terminally ill child.

The resulting disciplinary action - carried out by GMP but managed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) - was initially for gross misconduct.

The chief superintendent, who denied trying to influence the CPS's decision, eventually received "management advice" - the lowest form of sanction.

"I stand by what I did," Mr Bruckshaw, a police officer for 31 years, told the BBC.

"My barrister said a lot of judges would commend me for doing what I did because, as we saw a month later, he was acquitted of these offences."

Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Ian Hopkins has been chief constable of GMP since September 2015

Mr Bruckshaw questioned whether it was appropriate that the officer investigating him had a "previous grievance" after being removed by him from CID.

The chief superintendent said he raised this point in May 2015 with then Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, who "didn't see it as a problem".

Mr Hopkins succeeded Sir Peter Fahy as chief constable in September 2015.

"Appointing the investigating officer was a decision by GMP and supported by the IPCC," a GMP spokesman told the BBC.

'Through the mud'

When asked if police should be "absolutely squeaky clean", Mr Bruckshaw replied: "I agree that if an allegation is made an officer should be investigated and I do not have any problem with that."

But he said the investigation should have ended in May 2015 "when I had answered every single question" and added: "Why didn't it stop there, instead of dragging my name through the mud?"

Mr Bruckshaw, who said he now wants to retire from the force, said the overall estimated cost of the process, including the investigations, wages and legal fees, was about £500,000 - a figure not disputed by GMP.

He said this was a "waste of public money".

In a statement, GMP said it "accepts this investigation was not carried out in the effective manner that we always aspire to and that it took too long to reach the eventual conclusion.

"We are always working to ensure we can take learning from situations when things do not go as well as we would want and as such a full review will take place. We will be asking the Superintendents Association for its support with this work.

"Any recommendations identified will be acted on to ensure that future cases are managed in an effective manner."

The BBC asked for responses from Mr Hopkins and the officer who investigated Mr Bruckshaw, but no further statement was issued.

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