New operation launched to investigate police force
A new operation has been launched to bring together three investigations into misconduct at a police force.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Operation Forbes will provide extra resources and greater focus to three ongoing probes into Cleveland Police.
The first investigation followed an employment tribunal in November 2015, which concluded that PC Nadeem Saddique, who has now retired, was subject to discrimination due to his race.
The second is looking into complaints linked to how Cleveland Police carried out an Equality Review in 2011. These complaints, which included allegations of discrimination, were initially investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service but will now be looked at again.
And the third investigation, being carried out by West Midlands Police, is regarding the force's use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
This was the subject of an Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruling, concluding in January 2017, which found that Cleveland Police had in some cases used the powers unlawfully.
As a result Chief Constable Iain Spittal was forced to apologise to three journalists, including two from the Press Association, for spying on their phones.
IOPC operations manager Lauren Collins said: "We have been dealing with a number of complaints and referrals concerning allegations of discrimination at Cleveland Police and have taken the decision to oversee these investigations under one strategic operation.
"Given the seriousness of these allegations and the potential links between them, we want to ensure that we have a coordinated approach that makes best use of the resources and skills we have available to us.
"We will publish our findings following the conclusion of Operation Forbes."