Met to investigate "destroy" order from senior policeman

FACING PROBE: Cleveland Police’s assistant chief constable Sean White.

FACING PROBE: Cleveland Police’s assistant chief constable Sean White.

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

CLAIMS that a top officer at Cleveland Police ordered staff to "destroy" an ethnic minority officer after he admitted being a whistleblower on racism are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White allegedly gave the order to senior officers after the whistleblower admitted leaking information to the media about Cleveland Police and institutional racism.

The ethnic minority officer later left the Force after he said he was subjected to racial abuse and bullying. Cleveland Police last night (Tuesday, August 5) said he was under investigation for "criminal and conduct matters" and left before the investigation was completed.

A complaint about the matter has been made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which passed it back to Cleveland Police to investigate.

The complaint also deals with claims the order should have been classed as a hate crime, and that despite being reported to the force's professional standards department, it was not investigated fully.

It says the force made "minimal efforts" to investigate and had suppressed any further disclosures from serving officers by "intimidation, harassment and ostracism".

A spokeswoman confirmed that Cleveland Police had recorded the matters as complaints and had appointed an external force - the Met - to investigate.

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Spital said: “The investigation will establish whether there is any factual basis to the complaints.

“The allegations made by the complainant were considered at the time of reporting, and not recorded as a crime. Cleveland Police remains satisfied that this was the correct decision.

“Should this change, as a result of the investigation, Cleveland Police will review the decision not to record the allegation as a crime at the time of reporting.

“There is clear legislation around whistleblowing and making protected disclosures. The Force upholds this legislation and seeks to protect individuals who make such disclosures."

“Cleveland Police takes complaints extremely seriously, as is demonstrated in this case by appointing an experienced investigator from an external force to investigate all of the complaints made by this individual.”

The Met will also investigate a further claim made to the IPCC that senior officers at Cleveland Police conspired to cover up institutional racism, as reported by The Northern Echo last week.

Complaints about the management of the force's internal equality review - a document that concluded there was "clear resonance" between the definition of institutional racism at Cleveland - will be part of the investigation.

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