Former head of police charity in North Yorkshire arrested as detectives examine local builder’s paperwork.

Detectives are examining the contracts used in the construction of an extension to the home of a former police charity boss. The probe is part of a wider investigation into allegations of financial irregularities at the charity Alan Outhwaite, 64, a former policeman, was arrested in November. He had been suspended in June from his position as chief executive of the Northern Police Convalescent Home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Detectives from the Durham economic crime unit have been called in to investigate the case.

Detective chief inspector Colin Gibson said that his officers were examining the paperwork used by Harrogate builder IDS Construction in carrying out work for the charity at the care home and in completing an extension to Outhwaite’s home, which is also in Harrogate.

Gibson said: “I can confirm that we have also been making inquiries with IDS Construction, which completed works both on the care home and on his [Outhwaite’s] home. As part of our investigation we are examining whether there is any evidence of criminal activity linked with these works.”

Outhwaite is on police bail. He is due to return to face further questioning in March.

It is understood that staff at the Harrogate care home raised concerns with incoming chief executive Katherine Martin.

Outhwaite was suspended from his post two weeks before he was due to retire at the end of June after 20 years in the job.

The Harrogate Police Convalescent Home has a long history of treating officers who have been injured or have become ill.

Officers treated there include those stationed in Northern Ireland.

David Smith, the owner of IDS Construction, said that he had co-operated fully with the inquiry.

He said: “The police told me that there had been no impropriety in relation to the work we carried out and that they were fully satisfied with Alan Outhwaite’s dealings for the work.”

He added that Outhwaite had always appeared as being very “straight and honest” in business dealings with him. He said: "We showed the police documents and invoices clearly showing that work completed at Outhwaite's home had been paid for by him personally through his own personal cheques."

Outhwaite could not be contact by Building before going to press.