Community transport boss police probe nears end of 3rd year

Ex FACT manager Jo Philpott

Ex FACT manager Jo Philpott. Cambridgeshire Police said their three year investigation into the organisation continues into the period when she managed it. - Credit: ARCHANT

A police inquiry – named Operation Dearborn – into the former manager of Fenland transport provider FACT is now near the end of its third year. 

A police spokesperson said: “"The investigation continues and enquiries are ongoing.  

“No arrests have yet been made.” 

The spokesperson added: “Anyone with information concerning this investigation should call police on 101 quoting 35/3922/19.” 

Cambridgeshire Police has previously confirmed that the investigation is focused on former manager Jo Philpott and not on the current organisation. 

Numerous documents have been bundled up and taken by police since the investigation began. 

Police also took a computer from the FACT headquarter at March and have worked closely with the new management on building a picture of what happened, specifically during the years 2012-2018.  

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Up to 20,000 emails have been reviewed by detectives assigned to the case.  

Ms Philpott built up a community transport network that included Ely and Huntingdonshire. 

Gary Christy, FACT chair, has led a new team which has totally transformed the organisation, focusing exclusively on community needs.  

One of his first actions on being appointed chair was to terminate all commercial contracts previously undertaken by FACT in respect of school taxi services.  

The police investigation began on January 15, 2018 and since then FACT has worked with detectives to provide documentation relating to the period under investigation.  

Early on police visited the March home of Mrs Philpott and removed various documents and a computer.  

Cambridgeshire County Council at one time commissioned a £200,000 audit report from specialists PKF. 

The report considered many issues surrounding FACT, including the potential misuse of state funding to support their ambitious fleet of mini buses used both for community and commercial activity. 

That report led to county council chief executive Gillian Beasley concluding that "on the balance of probabilities these support a conclusion that false information was created and submitted with intent to support requests for public funding consistent with those findings highlighted by PKF." 

Latest accounts for FACT – to the financial year ending 31 December 2019 – shows a total income of £308,598 and total expenditure of £201,467.  

FACT operates as a charity serving the Fenland, Huntingdonshire and East Cambs Areas of Cambridgeshire to people who have difficulties using conventional modes of transport.