No charges after South Yorkshire charity investigation

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A POLICE probe into a South Yorkshire charity has concluded without any charges being brought.

South Yorkshire Police has closed its investigation and directors have been told there are to be no prosecutions.

The probe was launched into the finances of the Barnsley Black and Ethnic Minority Initiative last year after Barnsley Council voiced concerns.

But, despite police closing their case, the council said the charity would still be disbanded. It is being wound up by liquidators. The BBEMI was formed to promote good race relations and racial harmony in the town. But in August last year the council withdrew its £100,000-a-year funding, citing ‘financial concerns’.

Former director Naeem Jarral, who was involved with the charity for a decade, said he did not believe the council had concerns, but simply wanted to stop donating cash.

He said: “I believe it shows they have no respect for ethnic minority communities in Barnsley and sends a message that the town is not the place to be if you are a member of one of those communities.”

A council spokesman said: “We have reviewed our future relationship with BBEMI and will resolve any outstanding financial issues between the council and BBEMI in consultation with the liquidator.

“The council’s position is not affected by any decision the police may make regarding their investigation. The council has ring-fenced the relevant budget to deliver the same objectives and there will be no financial saving.

“Despite the police not pursuing their investigation, the council had and continues to have serious concerns about how certain matters were being dealt with by BBEMI, and felt it was necessary to raise these concerns with the police in order to protect public funds.”

DC Dean Hamby, from Barnsley CID, said: “Following a nine-month investigation into allegations regarding the finances of the Barnsley Black and Ethnic Minority Initiative the investigation has now come to a conclusion.

“After a thorough inspection of the charity’s financial records, all evidence was reviewed and we have decided that there will be no case to take forward to the Crown Prosecution Service.”