THE Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will investigate the conduct of a chief of police and his deputy arrested amid claims of corruption.

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Sean Price and his deputy, Derek Bonnard, were arrested this month on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice.

The force’s former head of legal services, Caroline Llewellyn, was also arrested when detectives from North Yorkshire Police carried out dawn raids on Wednesday, August 3.

The three were bailed until October, but Mr Price and Mr Bonnard have been suspended from duty while the investigation continues.

The launch of the investigation, in May, resulted in the resignation of the then-chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, Dave McLuckie.

The IPCC was brought in after being contacted by Cleveland Police and Cleveland Police Authority.

An IPCC senior investigator will now work alongside the Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police, Keith Bristow, to manage the misconduct investigation.

Mr Bristow will remain in charge of the investigation into criminal matters.

IPCC commissioner Nicholas Long said: “I have been kept informed throughout about the ongoing investigation led by Mr Bristow into allegations of criminality and was notified at an early stage about the arrests of the chief constable, deputy chief constable and the member of police staff.

“Allegations of corruption within a police force have a significant impact on public confidence and must be investigated thoroughly.

“I am confident Mr Bristow and his team are being thorough in their approach.

“While I believe it important that the IPCC becomes involved to provide wholly independent oversight, I also believe it important that we do not do anything that might undermine the ongoing investigation.

“It is for this reason that I have decided it appropriate for one of our senior investigators to work alongside Mr Bristow with a specific focus on allegations of potential misconduct or gross misconduct.”

Both Mr Price and Mr McLuckie have denied any wrongdoing through their respective solicitors and have vowed to clear their names.

A meeting of Middlesbrough Council last night heard that the investigation is costing about £100,000 a month.

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon told councillors he had submitted 14 questions to Cleveland Police Authority in an effort to find out as much about the investigation as he can.