Cleveland Police spy row: Two more officers face misconduct probe

Cleveland Police logo Image copyright PA
Image caption The Independent Office for Police Conduct launched its probe into Cleveland Police last year

Two more police officers are to be investigated for gross misconduct as part of an inquiry into how anti-terror legislation was used to spy on former staff and journalists.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is looking at Cleveland Police's use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).

The force said it would "continue to assist" the watchdog.

The latest announcement brings the total being probed by the IOPC to nine.

One of the two officers has retired and the other is now serving with Northamptonshire Police.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless was appointed in December, following a secondment to the College of Policing from his substantive role as Cleveland Police's assistant chief constable.

Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley said in a statement that Mr Nickless "was completely transparent regarding this matter prior to his application to join Northamptonshire Police and he remains in post".

"This remains a live IOPC investigation and therefore it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage," he said.

Three-part investigation

In 2017 an Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled Cleveland Police acted unlawfully by using RIPA.

Operation Forbes was launched in January 2018 to look further into the matter and two other issues at the force.

One concerned former PC Nadeem Saddique, who was awarded £457,664 compensation after a 2015 employment tribunal concluded he was racially discriminated against.

The IOPC said its final report would be sent to Cleveland Police for consideration.

Image caption Nadeem Saddique said colleagues had displayed "robust racism"

Operation Forbes will also look at how Cleveland Police carried out an Equality Review in 2011 into claims by black and ethnic minority officers that they were overlooked for promotion and disciplined more harshly than white colleagues.

The IOPC said no misconduct notices had been served and it was not a criminal investigation.

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said it was "important that these investigations are resolved".

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