AN INDEPENDENT watchdog has said Sussex’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) may have committed a criminal offence.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was looking into a complaint made by a member of the public relating to Katy Bourne’s 2016 re-election campaign.

The complainant contacted the IPCC after Ms Bourne posted on Facebook during the campaign that she had not claimed expenses during her term, yet, according to the complaint, she had in fact claimed £385.

It was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission by Sussex’s Police and Crime Panel.

The watchdog said it would investigate and yesterday it referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

A spokesman said: “The IPCC has completed its investigation into an allegation the PCC for Sussex, Katy Bourne, made a false statement during the 2016 election regarding her expenses while serving as the PCC, and have passed our report to the CPS.

“A referral to the CPS is made when the IPCC investigation indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed.

“It does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.

“The CPS will decide whether charges should be brought, based on the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.”

The Argus understands the CPS is not looking into any wrongdoing regarding her expenses.

Instead it will look into an alleged breach of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983. The act is concerned with the running of elections and what participants can and cannot say.

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Office of the Sussex PCC said it had co-operating fully with the investigation, adding: “The office is aware that the IPCC has passed their report on the claim to the CPS. It would be inappropriate to comment any further.”