Cambridgeshire Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner resigns over allegations about his time as an undercover police officer

Former Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Coles.
Former Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Coles.

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire has resigned following the screening of a Channel 4 investigation that claimed he had a relationship with a young activist while working as an undercover officer.

Andy Coles, who is also a Peterborough city councillor, has had his resignation accepted today (Monday, May 15) by Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite with immediate effect.

The Channel 4 programme screened on Friday (May 12) centred on an investigation into the activities of undercover police officers in the 1990s who infiltrated a group of animal rights activists.

The programme interviewed a woman who is taking legal action against Met Police and her allegations against Mr Coles.

Mr Coles, the Conservative city councillor for the Fletton and Woodston ward and former city council cabinet member for children’s services, said in a statement: “There have been news reports over the weekend about which I am unable to comment.

“This coverage is significantly impacting on my ability to carry out my duties as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

“I have therefore today tendered my resignation with immediate effect, which Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite has accepted.

“I am aware that the allegations have been referred directly to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).”

Mr Ablewhite said: “Following news reports over the weekend, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Coles has taken the decision to resign from his post with immediate effect.

“I have accepted his resignation.

“The matter has been referred directly to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for their consideration, therefore I will not make any further comment.”

The Police and Crime Panel, a committee which scrutinises the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “There have been news reports over the weekend regarding Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Coles.

“A referral has today been made by the Police and Crime Panel to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

“As a result of the referral, we are unable to make any further comment at this stage.”

The legal action by the woman follows a number of lawsuits launched against the police by women who have discovered that they had relationships, often lasting many years, with undercover officers.

Police have apologised and paid compensation to at least eight women.