County’s PCC Olly Martins faces possible charges over confidentiality

Beds PCC Olly Martins
Beds PCC Olly Martins

Beds Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins faces the prospect of criminal charges after the IPCC referred its investigation into his disclosure of ‘confidential information’ to the CPS.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched an investigation into Mr Martins in February, after he discussed internal details of Leon Briggs’ death to his partner.

Mr Briggs, of Ashburnham Road, Luton, died in November after being detained by officers under section 136 of the Mental Health Act and taken to Luton Police Station.

The IPCC has now concluded its investigation and has passed its report to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will now determine whether there is evidence to warrant criminal charges.

In a statement Mr Martins revealed his suprise at the referral.

He said: “I have co-operated fully with the IPCC investigation and provided a full and detailed account of my actions.

“Even though the threshold for the IPCC referring their investigation to the CPS is a low one I am surprised the IPCC considered this case reaches that threshold.

“I am confident the CPS will make the right decision.”

Beds Police first reported the matter to the IPCC on December 1, after they were informed of it by a member of the public.

The force was advised by the IPCC that it should send details of the complaint to Bedfordshire’s police and crime panel, as required by the rules governing complaints against PCCs.

Mr Martins was reprimanded for the leak in January, when the panel issued a written warning.

At the time the PCC told the body in a statement: “Unfortunately, the person to whom I spoke did not appreciate the sensitivity of what had been said, nor indeed completely understand it, and went on to repeat a garbled interpretation of it to a third party.”

During a webchat on Bedfordshire Police’s Facebook page in April Mr Martins further elaborated on the circumstances behind the disclosure.

He said: “One night over dinner I discussed with my partner sensitive information relating to the tragic death of Leon Briggs.

“I acknowledge that in doing something perfectly normal, sharing the challenges of my day with my partner, I crossed a line by discussing information I should not have done.”

As part of the IPCC investigation, overseen by the watchdog’s commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone, Mr Martins was interviewed under caution.

A separate IPCC probe into the death of Leon Briggs continues.