A SENIOR police officer has spoken of his relief after being told he can return to work after being cleared of any wrongdoing following a lengthy investigation.

Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Roberts was arrested and interviewed by Northumbria Police before being suspended by Cleveland Police after undisclosed allegations were levelled against him in April last year.

Initially, the case was referred to the police watchdog, the Independent Office of Police Conduct for Investigation, before the National Crime Agency (NCA) took over the probe.

Welcoming the decision, ACC Roberts of Cleveland Police said: “I would like to thank my family, friends and colleagues who have kept faith in and stood by me during this difficult period.

"On the basis of what amounted to unfounded allegations, I have suffered the indignity of more than 12 months under rigorous criminal investigation.

"The impact on my family has been immense, our lives have been put on hold and, in practical terms, my career of nearly 33 years public service in policing brought towards a most unhappy close.

"Having fully cooperated with the investigation from the outset, I am naturally relieved to receive the inevitable, independent confirmation that I am innocent of any crime, and now need to concentrate on rebuilding my life.”

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police confirmed the officer was facing no further action and was free to return to active duty.

He said: “In April 2019, a decision was taken to suspend Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Roberts pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.

"That investigation, conducted by the National Crime Agency, has now ended and we have been informed that no evidence was found to suggest that any criminal offences had been committed in relation to the allegations made and that ACC Roberts will face no further action.

"Cleveland Police can confirm that following the conclusion of the NCA investigation ACC Roberts’ suspension has been lifted.”

The NCA, which is the country’s lead agency against both organised crime, trafficking, cyber crime and economic crime that goes across regional and international borders, was tasked to investigate whether any crime had been committed.

Following the investigation, a spokesman said: "In April 2019, ACC Adrian Roberts from Cleveland police was arrested by officers from Northumbria Police.

"The National Crime Agency was asked to independently investigate and after a thorough investigation no evidence of criminal wrongdoing was found and no further action will be taken."