A ROW has broken out over files found at a dump in Middlewich.
Police insist the files found by Mike Cleverley, of Victoria Road in North-wich, at a Middlewich tip did not belong to the force.
They say the files were in fact the property of the Federation Against Copyright Theft and nothing to do with police.
But Mr Cleverley, 37, maintains many of the 30-or-so files he found did indeed belong to police, including one which related to a paedophile living in Manchester.
Cheshire Constabulary has asked for the opportunity to clarify its position over the article which appeared in last week's Chronicle.
In a statement, Superintendent Tim Jackson, divisional commander of Congleton and Vale Royal Police, said: 'The article clearly suggests that the files found by Mr Cleverley last year were police files. This is inaccurate. The files were in fact the property of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, which is a private company.
'This was not known when the incident was reported and an officer was sent to collect the files immediately as it was believed police property had been found.'
Mr Cleverley, who this week maintained the files belonged to the police, said officers were round to pick up the files within 20 minutes, yet he says it was a matter of hours before officers visited him following a shed break-in at his property.
But Supt Jackson said: 'The force has a strict deployment policy in place which dictates which incidents response officers attend immediately.
'Our deployment policies ensure that the resources the force has are used in the best way. Sending an officer to an incident whereby their attendance does not make a difference to the outcome of the incident goes against these policies and therefore officers may not be sent immediately to incidents such as shed break-ins, stolen vehicles and criminal damage.
'These are managed in a different way, such as through appointments at helpdesks or over the telephone. Indeed, the moment a stolen vehicle is reported over the telephone all officers become involved.'
He added: 'The demand on the force is great and we must manage that demand intelligently if we are to deliver the service expected of us.
'It's simply not possible to send officers in cars with lights flashing and horns blaring to every crime report we get, nor should people expect us to.'
Mr Cleverley is adamant the files he found belonged to the police, though he accepts some of the files relating to pirate DVDs may well have belonged to Federation Against Copyright Theft.
He said: 'The files had the police logo on them and I also found handcuffs with them.'