CLEVELAND's Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner has responded after it was revealed he was facing a criminal investigation after a complaint was made to a police watchdog.

The PCC was elected earlier this year in May but has been under growing pressure to resign following an allegation made in Parliament that he received a caution for theft while working at a supermarket.

And on Thursday morning, it was revealed a second allegation believed to relate to a sexual assault decades ago has been submitted to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The investigation will be carried out by an external police force and overseen by the police watchdog.

Read more: Cleveland police boss Steve Turner faces probe over sexual assault allegation

Why Cleveland's Tory police boss Steve Turner should step aside

Releasing a statement on Thursday evening, Mr Turner said: "Yesterday I was made aware by the Independent Office of Police Conduct that they had received a referral from the Police and Crime Panel in relation to a historical allegation.

"I am appalled at the allegation and the connotations around it.

"That said, I genuinely believe that it is right and proper that all allegations are taken seriously and that an independent investigation takes place. 

"Due to my role within Cleveland it is inappropriate for me to comment further and appropriate for this investigation to be carried out by an independent police force once appointed.

"I will cooperate fully, as will my office."

The IOPC confirmed it has begun its investigation into the allegation. 

A statement read: "An IOPC spokesperson said: “Any allegation that a criminal offence may have been committed by a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) must be referred by the appropriate authority to the IOPC to determine whether the matter should be investigated.

Read nore: Cleveland's Tory police boss Steve Turner facing growing calls to resign

“We have now begun a managed investigation following a complaint referral from the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel regarding the alleged conduct of the current PCC prior to taking up the role.

“This investigation, which follows an allegation of a serious non-recent criminal offence, will be carried out by a force from another area under our direction and control.

“We have contacted the complainant to make them aware of our involvement. As this investigation is at a very early stage, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

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