Operation Ocean – historic review

In 2016 a number of claims were made by individuals, including at the Home Affairs Select Committee, that Cleveland Police had undertaken an operation, called Operation France, investigating all Asian officers. In response to these claims, Cleveland Police reviewed a number of historic operations.

The review, entitled Operation Ocean, was concluded in December 2017. During the course of the review, the review team found that there was no evidence to support the claims that Operation France (or any other Cleveland Police investigation) had investigated all Asian officers. The review team concluded that Operation France itself was undertaken for proper policing reasons.

Due to legal proceedings it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time. It is Cleveland Police’s intention to release the report into the public domain in the future.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has commented on the review.

The PCC said: "Although these matters now date back nearly 15 years, I shared the concern of many, including current Chief Constable Iain Spittal, at the claims that Cleveland Police had at any time in the past conducted a covert operation into all Asian officers.

“I am pleased that this very thorough review has found that there is no evidence to indicate that Cleveland Police ever conducted a covert operation into all Asian officers.

“The claims surrounded Operation France which ran during 2003 and 2004. It is re-assuring that the review concluded that this was a good quality, professionally conducted investigation with credible foundations.

“I will ensure that, at the appropriate time, the review is sent to the Home Affairs Select Committee so the record can be set straight."