Allegation against Peterborough and Cambridgeshire crime chief who resigned was of a ‘criminal nature’

A letter from the chief executive of the office of the police and crime commissioner has revealed allegations against the former crime chief Jason Ablewhite are of a “criminal nature”.

As exclusively revealed by the Peterborough Telegraph, Mr Ablewhite resigned today (Monday) after an allegation about his conduct was made against him last Thursday by a member of the public, which was then referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Jason Ablewhite

Jason Ablewhite

Now, a letter sent by Dorothy Gregson to members of the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel has said the allegation had been assessed as being potentially criminal.

RELATED: Elected crime chief for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire resigns

Part of the letter, sent to the local democracy service by chair Edward Leigh, read: “On the 6th November 2019, (Dorothy Gregson) received communication from Cambridgeshire Constabulary in relation to an allegation regarding the Commissioner which they had assessed to be of a criminal nature. It is on that basis that later the same day I formally notified the Independent Office for Police Conduct of a referral in respect of the commissioner.

“In accordance with the Panels Complaint Procedure I am referring this matter to the panel to record as a complaint under The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012 in respect of the commissioner.

“As set out in the Panels Complaint Procedure, as I am satisfied that the subject matter of the complaint is being dealt with by means of criminal proceedings, I have not enclosed details of the referral.”

Mr Leigh said the potential for the allegation to be of a criminal nature is the reason the complaint has been passed straight to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

He said the police and crime panel is making plans to meet on November 27, or a similar date, to appoint an acting police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The role does not automatically fall to the current deputy chief commissioner Ray Bisby.

Mr Leigh said he was made aware of the resignation this afternoon, but was told on November 8 that a complaint had been received and passed to the IOPC.

The IOPC said in a statement earlier today: “The IOPC has started an independent investigation following a referral about a public complaint into the conduct of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire.”

The office of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Crime Commissioner said in a statement earlier today: “A referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“Jason Ablewhite has today (Monday, November 11) tendered his resignation as Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“It would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment.”

The police and crime commissioner’s office has declined to comment any further.

A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: “This matter has been referred to the IOPC, therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

Ben Hatton, Local Democracy Reporting Service