Cheshire Constabulary has launched a formal investigation into allegations that air quality data submitted by Cheshire East council between 2012 and 2014 had been ‘manipulated’.
The start of the investigation follows a meeting between the local authority and the Police Service, in which concerns were raised over the accuracy of the data.
In a statement issued this morning (19 September), the Police Service, said: “A meeting has now taken place with representatives from Cheshire East Council, who had raised their concerns in relation to allegations of manipulated air quality data.
“Having carefully reviewed all the information, we can now confirm that there are sufficient grounds to proceed with a formal investigation.â€?
Issues with the data submitted as part of the council’s annual air quality returns in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 initially came to light in July, after the council claimed that data from 42 diffusion tubes used to monitor air pollution within the borough had been falsified.
Commenting on the investigation, Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East council said: “It is vital that these serious matters are dealt with fully and that if there has been any wrongdoing it is exposed. While a police investigation is a serious matter, I would like to reassure residents that the council itself has brought these matters forward in order to put things right.
“We will ensure that council services continue to be delivered to the high standards that residents have come to expect.
“As these matters are now subject to criminal investigation, we are unable to give more information at this time.â€?