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Referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Andrew White, chief executive of the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), has today made a referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) regarding the Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.

OPCC Chief Executive Andrew White
OPCC Chief Executive Andrew White

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. 

The referral relates to allegations about election expenses and potential breaches of electoral law on expenses in the Torbay constituency during the 2015 general election campaign, where Alison Hernandez was the election agent for the Conservative candidate Kevin Foster.  These allegations have been circulating since 20 April following broadcast on Channel 4 News.

The statutory body responsible for dealing with conduct issues relating to a serving police and crime commissioner (PCC) is the Police and Crime Panel.

Mr White has been given delegated responsibility from the Police and Crime Panel to deal with the processing of any complaints or issues relating to the conduct of the PCC on their behalf.  In line with that delegation Mr White has been in full consultation with Mr Croad, as chair of the panel, regarding the handling of this matter. 

In any instance where there is a potential serious conduct issue regarding a serving PCC the matter must be referred to the IPCC.  This referral will also ensure the independence of any investigation that may become necessary and will also protect the PCC from any undue interference from others.

The IPCC will now take this matter forward in line with their own procedures.