50-year-old crime comes back to haunt councillor

Cllr Alan Charles
Cllr Alan Charles

A county councillor has been forced to stand down as a candidate for a top police role over a “minor criminal offence” he committed nearly 50 years ago.

Alan Charles, who represents Killamarsh on Derbyshire County Council, has been barred from standing as Labour’s candidate for police and crime commissioner for Derbyshire after the offence came to light.

In a statement issued this morning, Cllr Charles said: “I have taken the difficult decision to stand down as the Labour party candidate for police and crime commissioner for Derbyshire.

“The Labour party has only now received clarification from the Home Office and the Electoral Commission that juvenile convictions for imprisonable offences will bar people from becoming a police and crime commissioner.

“Despite serving as a councillor for over 20 years and as vice chair of Derbyshire Police Authority, I have received confirmation that a minor criminal offence I committed as a 14-year-old around 47 years ago for which I was given a year’s conditional discharge has now barred me from standing

for the post.”

Conservative Cllr Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council deputy leader, is the only other confirmed candidate for the role.

A Derbyshire police spokesman said the application process will end in October.

The commissioner will have the power to choose chief constables and will be expected to hold officers to account, among other things.