AN independent investigation into claims that a police boss had carried out a sexual assault decades ago has been discontinued.

Cleveland's Tory Police and Crime Commissioner has been told that the investigation has now been closed following a complaint made to the force late last year.

Steve Turner vehemently denied any wrongdoing when the allegations came to light last November and said he only became aware of it when he was contacted by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

After assessing the information in the referral, the IOPC has determined the evidence met the threshold for an investigation to be necessary, namely that there was an indication a criminal offence may have been committed.

Read more: Political allies welcome news that Tory PCC is cleared of sexual assault claim

However, Avon and Somerset Police have conducted a managed investigation, under the direction and control of the IOPC, and the investigating officer has now followed up all available lines of inquiry.

The Northern Echo: Cleveland PCC Steve TurnerCleveland PCC Steve Turner

Today, the IOPC confirmed that his findings had led to its decision to discontinue the investigation.

Mr Turner was not arrested and there was no requirement for him to be interviewed.

IOPC Director of Major Investigations Steve Noonan said: “We are satisfied all reasonable efforts to progress this investigation have been made and that no further lines of inquiry remain open at this time.

“Any serious allegation of this nature requires careful investigation, and it was important that there was independent oversight in this case.

“I would like to thank Avon and Somerset Police for their professionalism throughout this inquiry.”

Read more: Cleveland PCC's relief as sexual assault investigation dropped

Speaking at the time of the allegation, Mr Turner said: "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."

In December last year, the IOPC dropped four complaints about the conduct of Mr Turner saying there was insufficient indication that any criminal offences had taken place.

Read more: Four latest allegations against Cleveland PCC Steve Turner are dropped by IOPC

The four allegations related to an alleged assault in 2019; allegedly providing inaccurate information to the media; and two complaints from the same person regarding alleged data protection breaches.

Mr Turner has been contacted for comment in relation to today's events.

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