“Audit committee calls for review of threshold for misconduct in public office offences”

Again, plenty Owl could might add here!

“The chair of a local authority’s audit and risk assurance committee has written to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to express concern at the “extremely high threshold” for consideration of Misconduct in Public Office offences.

The letter sent by Cllr Liam Preece of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough came after the local authority had referred certain allegations about some elected members to the police.

However, the police – following a review of the evidence held by the council – reached a determination that there was insufficient evidence to meet the threshold for recording a crime.

Cllr Preece said that the audit and risk assurance committee had accepted the police’s decision, “but were ultimately concerned that there is an extremely high threshold for consideration of Misconduct in Public Office offences which in turn could lead to a lack of public confidence in the process”.

He added in the letter, which can be viewed here, that the committee hoped that the relevant guidance issued to police forces in relation to the threshold criteria for such offences could be reviewed.

“The Committee feel that in cases of multiple serious breaches of the code of conduct, the police should feel more justified to bring charges against elected members to restore and maintain public confidence,” Cllr Preece told the DPP.”

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=34242%3Aaudit-committee-calls-for-review-of-threshold-for-misconduct-in-public-office-offences&catid=59&Itemid=27