Commissioner refuses to step in over missing teen Russell Bohling
THE new police and crime commissioner has refused to take Humberside Police to task over the disappearance of student Russell Bohling.
The family of the teenager, who disappeared almost three years ago, asked Matthew Grove to investigate the conduct of officers involved in the case.
Russell was 18 when he disappeared on March 2, 2010, after he left the family home in West Ella for Bishop Burton College.
His Renault Clio was found at Bempton Cliffs the next day.
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Russell's dad Roger asked Mr Grove to look into statements made shortly after Russell's disappearance which claim the RAF Bunker close to Bempton Cliffs had been thoroughly searched.
Mr Bohling has since received correspondence from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service that suggests only heat-sensitive cameras and torches were used, which would be ineffective in the search for a body, while flooded areas were not pumped out and searched.
Mr Bohling said: "I asked Mr Grove to look into the press statements made, which I feel were misleading.
"I put it to Mr Grove that it is his duty to scrutinise the performance of the officers through the chief constable and hold him to account.
"He hasn't answered the questions I asked.
"This isn't operational but a matter of public confidence in the police."
In a letter to Mr Bohling, Mr Grove said: "To suggest a commissioner would be in a position to hold a chief constable to account for decisions as to which buildings to search in an operation runs counter to the whole concept of the separation of responsibilities between a commissioner and chief constable and completely negates the operational independence of the latter.
"Although I have no power to intervene in these issues, a briefing has been provided to me as to Russell's case."
But Mr Bohling believes this raises questions over the role of the police commissioner.
He said: "I don't feel his response is good enough and I'm not sure he is doing the job the electorate thought he would be doing."
The family has been heavily critical of the way the police have handled the case throughout.
They believe Russell was murdered but the police have always treated it as a missing person case.