AN investigation into allegations of misconduct involving the head of a police force's civilian head of its standards and ethics department is continuing.

Cristiana Emsley was suspended from her role at the end of June and it has now been confirmed that Cleveland Police will be carrying out the investigation into the allegations.

Ms Emsley was drafted in by the force after it disbanded its discredited professional standards department following a number of scandals, including the unlawful use of ‘snooping’ legislation to access data of two Northern Echo reporters.

The suspended senior member of civilian staff at the force is the first non-warranted director of its standards and ethics department.

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “The matter was voluntarily referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct which has determined that it is suitable for local investigation.”

In January 2017, the-then Chief Constable Iain Spittal announced that the professional standards department (PSD), which investigates complaints, misconduct allegations and wrongdoing amongst officers, would be disbanded.

The move came after a panel of top judges has ruled that Cleveland Police acted unlawfully when it monitored the phones of Northern Echo journalists to track down a series of embarrassing leaks.