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Election expenses investigation to be carried out by West Mercia Police

Following programmes aired by Channel 4 on 20 and 21 April, the Force received allegations relating to improper electoral campaign spending returns in Devon and Cornwall in the 2015 general election.

It is imperative that the public and the workforce have confidence in this Force in respect of transparency, integrity and impartiality in this matter.

Therefore, the chief constable made a decision to transfer the investigation into the allegations to another Force. West Mercia Police have agreed to carry out the independent investigation.

We are fully aware that there is a 12 month limitation of proceedings for certain offences, which would mean that no criminal action could be taken in relation to these offences past this point without the police applying for an extension.

We are currently awaiting final advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, but we will work with West Mercia Police to ensure this extension is secured before the deadline.

We have also spoken with the chief executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall Police.

The OPCC has today announced that it has made a referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) regarding the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.

This referral has been made in full consultation with the chair of the Police and Crime Panel, Councillor Roger Croad and is in line with statutory process.

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