For over 2 years the people of Lancashire have waited with enforced patience to see whether Clive Grunshaw, their Police and Crime Commissioner had, in an earlier incarnation, really discovered time travel. Their wait ends here today.
Had Mr Grunshaw on various occasions nipped home from a meeting, popped into his time machine, then left home before he had arrived, enabling him to get back to another meeting and possibly another claim for some grub? A time-traveller's days are longer you see, and require more or bigger meals than the days experienced by ordinary people like you or me.
What sort of time-travel did he favour? Does he go to work in a DeLorean? Is there a flux-capacitor involved? Or is what looks like an innocent Police Box appearing and disappearing sporadically at venues across the Red-Rose county?
Or, just possibly, was there another explanation as to why the information on his expenses claims to various public bodies just didn't always seem to add up?
Well, here we are, long after 24 months of combined investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and deliberation by the Crown Prosecution Service, and at last a report is going to the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel. Finally Lancastrians' curiosity will be sated as their elected representatives from each of their Councils publicly debate the findings of the investigation.
Except they won't. There will be a meeting on Tuesday. It will receive a report, in fact, two reports. But it's all being done under “Part 2” rules whereby oiks like you and me don't get to read the reports or to see accountability in action, and the people who can read them would get into trouble if they talked to us about it.
Which doesn't seem right to me.
Nor does it seem right that, despite all these investigations ending before Christmas, no-one has seen fit to let anyone know what happened until 4 months later, in the middle of a General Election, as if they were hoping against hope that every journalist in the land would be looking the other way when they finally do what the law says they must do, and publish their reports.
So, having promised not to comment on ongoing investigations, I've noticed that the investigations are no longer ongoing and, instead of waiting for the train that never comes, I will let you see and appreciate what has happened in your name, for I have secured the reports and I can let you take a peek at what is inside them.
Now, I'm not going to do this all in one go. If I gave you 2 reports, in 125 pages and 961 paragraphs, and a couple of spreadsheets, you might be tempted just to skip to the conclusions, which is what they want you to do, because they don't want you to realise what a hash they have made of this investigation.
You probably wouldn't be using 2 computers and several more spreadsheets of your own to analyse what's gone on here or making Freedom of Information requests so you can compare the results with the facts. But rest easy folks. I've done that for you, so you can laser in to the key points, and I've used new tools to help you see what others have apparently missed.
So welcome to Part 1 of “How the IPCC bungled the Grunshaw Expenses Investigation” – CLICK HERE to see what they don't want you to see. And don't forget to come back for more later – because there will be more.