Wigan councillor says police have not returned his possessions which were seized during marathon investigation

An opposition councillor from Wigan has become embroiled in a bizarre row with the police over the return of equipment to him.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 9:27 am
An inventory of the equipment
An inventory of the equipment

Hindley Green independent Coun Bob Brierley has accused Greater Manchester Police (GMP) of not returning objects including a laptop, a sat nav and mini server following the end of a marathon investigation.

He also says the police handed him an empty clear plastic bag which was still sealed and had a tag on it suggesting five digital recorders should be inside.

However, despite Coun Brierley being adamant he has not got back the list of items worth hundreds of pounds the police are equally insistent that the objects are already back in his possession.

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Coun Bob Brierley

GMP says Coun Brierley has had the devices returned over a period of several months, but accepts that when it tried to convince him of this the outspoken politician refused to accept its version of events.

Coun Brierley has now criticised the force as the two parties reached something of an impasse.

Coun Brierley was investigated for around 12 months over allegations made by Donna Hall when she was chief executive of Wigan Council before he was finally released with no action to be taken in early October.

Coun Brierley said: “This is ridiculous. They gave me a bag which was sealed and had a label on it saying there were five black digital recorders in it and it was empty, there was nothing in it.

“How can the police be that incompetent? Whoever has put that label on the bag needs to go back to college and take the exam again on knowing what has been put in an evidence bag.

“They haven’t given me this stuff back. Things are missing. There’s a Tom Tom sat nav which cost me £80, the digital recorders and a red Acer laptop which cost me £350 and which has valuable photos of my grandson on which I can never get back.

“I’m now asking the police for a copy of the signed document and the CCTV footage, because that will identify what they’ve sent me.

“I’m disgusted with them.”

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) issued a statement which explained officers spoke to the complainant to advise he has already collected the items which were taken as part of the police probe.

The police force says the laptop was collected on February 15 this year, with Coun Brierley signing a property receipt for it.

GMP also says the five digital recorders were collected in the same month and again a property receipt was signed.

The police said the sat nav device and a mini server were returned by an officer on the counter at Wigan Police Station on October 16 this year, but Coun Brierley refused to sign the receipt for these.

Coun Brierley said he refused to sign for all the items as the police had damaged some of his recording devices and the form meant GMP could not be held responsible for anything that happened to the equipment while in the force’s possession.