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Top cops to be quizzed over missing cash.

A TOP detective faces the sack after a probe into missing cash for police informants.

Detective Superintendent Dave Unwin is one of nine officers who will go before Mr Edward Crew, Chief Constable of the West Midlands, next March.

He works with the force's crack Major Investigations Team which investigates the most serious crimes including murder.

Also facing disciplinary charges is Supt Iain Drayton, who is in charge of operations at Steelhouse Lane police station in Birmingham city centre.

So, too, are three detective sergeants and four detective constables.

If the cases are found proved the officers could be reprimanded, fined, demoted or dismissed.

The proceedings follow allegations that cash authorised to be paid to police informants was never received by the "snouts".

The Sunday Mercury understands the amounts said to be involved range from small sums to pounds 500.

The lower-ranking officers will face charges directly related to the informants' payments.

Mr Unwin and Mr Drayton will have to answer allegations that they failed to properly supervise the payments.

The matters relate to the mid-1990s when Mr Drayton and Mr Unwin were successive detective superintendents in charge of CID at West Bromwich.

The decision to go ahead with disciplinary proceedings against the nine officers follows a 12-month investigation by West Midlands Police complaints and discipline department.

The papers detailing the precise charges will be served on the officers this week.

Mr Unwin is one of the most experienced and respected detectives in West Midlands Police. He is leading the murder investigation into the nightclub shooting of Daniel Brown in Handsworth, Birmingham, three weeks ago.

Mr Unwin headed the hunt for The Bus Stop Beast who terrorised women in the Birmingham and Worcestershire area. A man has since been arrested and charged.

Mr Unwin also led the police investigation into the death of schoolgirl Lucy Burchell who was lured into a life of vice and drugs in Walsall.

The disclosure that disciplinary proceedings are to be taken against the nine detectives comes only a week after the end of hearings also involving nine officers. These included Mr Drayton who was reprimanded by Chief Constable Crew after admitting negle ct of duty.

Det Supt Malcolm Ross, of the force Major Investigations Team, also received a ticking-off after admitting the same disciplinary charge. One sergeant and six constables were fined between pounds 300 and pounds 900.

As exclusively revealed by the Sunday Mercury in September, the proceedings followed claims that crime figures had been fiddled. Those matters also related to West Bromwich although are unconnected with the new allegations.

The just-finished proceedings followed a claim by a convicted rapist that he received favours for confessing to offences he had not committed.

The man was said to have been allowed a secret tryst with his girlfriend in a police station and was taken to pubs.

The rapist - sent down for eight years for the rape - is understood to have admitted to dozens of offences including robbery and burglary.

The junior officers were said to have been directly involved in the collusion. The two superintendents admitted failing to look properly at confession documents before they were sent on to top brass.

The new allegations will send shockwaves through West Midlands Police where Chief Constable Crew has vowed to stamp out bent practices.

Ch Supt David Baker, head of West Midlands Police complaints and discipline department, said: "An investigation has been in progress for some considerable time and it is now proposed that nine officers, including two superintendents, will have to answer disciplinary matters at a hearing, provisionally arranged for March 1999.

"As papers have not yet been served on the individual officers involved, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment."

See Mercury Comment - p14.
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Dec 20, 1998
Words:622
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