‘Insufficient evidence for prospect of conviction’

Olly Martyns will face no further actionOlly Martyns will face no further action
Olly Martyns will face no further action
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins will not face further action over alleged disclosure of sensitive information, following an investigation by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been advised by the CPS that no criminal proceedings should be taken.

The IPCC launched an investigation into Mr Martins in February after he discussed internal details of Leon Briggs’ death with his partner.

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Mr Briggs, of Ashburnham Road, Luton, died in November after being detained by officers under section 136 of the Mental Health Act and taken to Luton Police Station.

Luke Bulpitt, a specialist prosecutor with the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “In August 2014, the IPCC asked the CPS to consider whether Olly Martins, Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), should face a charge of misconduct in public office.

“This followed an allegation that Mr Martins made an unauthorised disclosure to his partner, when they were at home, of sensitive information passed to him in his role as PCC.

“After careful consideration and a review of the evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the CPS has decided that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

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“In any case of misconduct in public office, we would have to show that any disclosure of information was serious enough to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust, particularly regarding the extent and likely consequences of the disclosure. The evidence is not sufficient to establish this.

“As a result, we have advised the IPCC that no further criminal action should be taken.

“Any decision by the CPS does not imply any finding concerning guilt or criminal conduct. The CPS makes decisions only according to the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and it is applied in all decisions on whether or not to prosecute.”

Following this decision, Mr Martins said: “I am very grateful to the CPS for the speed of their decision, a conclusion which will now draw a line under the matter. Having co-operated fully throughout the investigation, I hope that people will be reassured that my actions have been investigated exhaustively and due process has been followed to the letter, leading to today’s outcome.

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“As I have previously acknowledged, I made an error when I discussed sensitive information about the death of Leon Briggs with my partner, but I welcome the fact that the CPS has clearly established there are no criminal charges to answer.

“Indeed, the advice obtained by the Police and Crime Panel, prior to its hearing in January, from leading counsel Clive Sheldon QC was quite clear and concluded:

‘…there is no indication of a criminal offence. There was no element of seriousness in the error of judgement for it to come within misconduct in public office’.

“It turns out this was correct. I was always concerned that the focus on my actions may detract from the on-going investigation into the tragic death of Leon Briggs. That is what really matters here. His family, friends and indeed Bedfordshire Police need answers.

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“This is also what the public in Bedfordshire deserve. Currently there are seven of their police officers and staff suspended on full pay, costing taxpayers around £26,000 per month for no benefit.

“A conclusion of the investigation, whatever the outcome, will enable that money to be used to keep our county safe. The longer this goes on, the greater the sense of injustice for all involved.”