Police investigating after 'concerns of a financial nature' reported by South Tyneside Council
Northumbria Police have confirmed the force is carrying out an investigation after potential issues were reported by the council.
But officers have not commented on how long the investigation has been going on for, or whether the force is focusing on a particular individual or department at the authority.
A spokesman for the force said: “We can confirm there is an ongoing investigation after concerns of a financial nature were raised by South Tyneside Council (STC).”
The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) was prompted to ask Northumbria Police whether it was conducting a probe after it was passed correspondence related to inquiries carried out by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
According to this, a request for financial documents by independent councillor John Robertson was rejected under the terms of section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act.
This allows public bodies to deny requests for information where they feel it could ‘prejudice the prevention or detection of crime by a Police Authority’.
Reacting to news of the police investigation, Cllr Robertson, who is also the leader of the opposition at STC, said: “I hope if there is any wrong doing it is uncovered.”
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “We are aware that Northumbria Police are conducting an investigation.
“The council is supporting this and as such no further statements will be made whilst this is ongoing.”