FRAUD handling methods have been reviewed by Gloucestershire Police following the release of a report into corruption in the Cotswold Water Park, which found failings in the police.
The report into Operation Juggler, a two-year City of London Police investigation into fraud and corruption in the Cotswold Water Park, acknowledged that a fraud complaint to the force was ‘was not handled as well as it could have been’.
The complaint was made by members of the Cotswold Water Park Society (CWPS) who made four attempts in April 2010 to report suspicions that their chief executive Dennis Grant was committing serious fraud. He was jailed in December 2010 for stealing £660,000 from the charity.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire Police, Martin Surl said that since the report, working practices around complex fraud allegations have been reviewed and changed.
He said: “There is no doubt the initial police response to concerns raised by members of the Cotswold Water Park was confused and unhelpful and I am assured important lessons have been learned on how complaints of this nature are received and handled.
“Although the initial response to the water park allegations in 2010 was poor, let’s not forget the investigation was successful. The former chief executive Dennis Grant was convicted and jailed and an independent review by the City of London Police commended the investigation which, it said, exceeded the required standard to prosecute.”
Mr Surl’s comments were welcomed by Cotswold District Council’s Lib Dem leader Paul Hodgkinson who had already asked him what could be done to restore public confidence in the force.
“The public need reassurance that nothing similar will happen again when concerns are raised with (the police) about potential criminals,” he said.