A senior North Yorkshire Police officer has been suspended from duty and is under investigation.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it launched an investigation into the officer on Friday, May 3, which will determine whether they committed, or witnessed and failed to report, a criminal offence.  

North Yorkshire Police said it made the referral to the IOPC on Tuesday, April 30.

An IOPC spokesperson said its investigation will also consider whether the officer knowingly failed to disclose information during a number of vetting processes since that time.

The officer has been informed that they are under criminal investigation.

“We have also served a notice informing them we are investigating potential gross misconduct relating to alleged breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour for: honesty and integrity; duties and responsibilities; and discreditable conduct,” the IOPC spokesperson said.

Catherine Bates, IOPC’s regional director, added: “These are serious allegations and it is important that we carry out a thorough investigation to determine the facts.

“This will be carried out by the IOPC, entirely independently of the police.

“However, I would stress that these remain allegations at this time and this does not necessarily mean that criminal charges or disciplinary proceedings will follow.

“At the end of the investigation, we will decide whether to refer a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision, and also decide whether the officer should face disciplinary proceedings.”

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "We made a referral to the IOPC on 30 April 2024, and the officer has been suspended from duty.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further due to the IOPC's ongoing investigation."

David Skaith, Mayor of York and North Yorkshire, took over the responsibilities of the police and crime commissioner when he was elected earlier this month.  

A spokesperson for the York and North Yorkshire Office for Policing, Fire, Crime and Commissioning said: “The Independent Office for Police Conduct perform a vital role in independently assessing and investigating matters that are referred to them whether by police forces, mayors, or commissioners.

“The mayor reassures the public of York and North Yorkshire that this announcement by the Independent Office for Police Conduct does not affect the strategic leadership in place within North Yorkshire Police.”