Jeff Boothe, Croydon police’s Borough Commander, has been assigned to “other duties” for the past three months, pending an investigation into his involvement in a domestic dispute in October.
“Basically, he’s on what might be called gardening leave,” a source told Inside Croydon, “while there’s an on-going investigation.”
Widely respected in Croydon circles, Boothe has been seen to do much work in trying to reduce the scourge of knife crime in the borough. His absence from formal borough occasions, such as the centenary Remembrance Day parade in November, prompted some council figures and other civic leaders to ask about his whereabouts.
Croydon Council’s chief executive, Jo Negrini, and council leader Tony Newman, have been aware of the situation. Croydon Council’s press office even has a statement prepared, ready to go in the event of the news of Boothe’s absence from his duties becoming public knowledge.
But Negrini has refused to respond to questions about the situation put to her on more than one occasion by Inside Croydon.
Chief Superintendent Boothe, 53, took over as Croydon’s Borough Commander in November 2016, having previously held a similar post in Bexley for 18 months.
Since a Metropolitan Police reorganisation last year, he has headed up one of the capital’s 12 new Basic Command Units, overseeing policing in Sutton and Bromley as well as Croydon. Boothe is one of just three senior officers from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to be in charge of London’s policing command units.
Scotland Yard refused to comment on the nature of the incident or CS Boothe’s operational status when contacted by Inside Croydon. The officer has also chosen not to respond to our enquiries.
But other sources confirmed that Boothe was arrested after an incident at his home in Thornton Heath in October, understood to be a domestic dispute with his partner. The issue of child custody is also believed to be involved.
Boothe has not been suspended from police duties, but he has been assigned elsewhere while the matter remains under investigation within Croydon. Dave Stringer, a senior chief superintendent with experience of policing in Croydon, is deputising for Boothe in the meantime.
Victor Marshall, the professional standards co-ordinator for the Police Superintendents’ Association, issued a statement on Boothe’s behalf to Inside Croydon.
Marshall said: “Chief Superintendent Boothe strenuously denies all the allegations and is co-operating fully with the investigation.”
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