Police and Crime Commissioner: ‘I stand by my decision’

Alan Hardwick
Alan Hardwick

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick has said he stands by his decision to suspend the force’s acting chief constable Neil Rhodes, despite the fact the move has today been quashed by a high court.

Mr Hardwick told The Standard he believed his actions had been appropriate in line with his duties, even though the judge in the case described his decision as ‘unlawful’.

He added: “I have to accept the court’s ruling. The whole matter hinged on the fact that the judge’s interpretation of one document disagreed with my interpretation. The judge decided that his interpretation had more validity.

“I was elected by the people of Lincolnshire to represent their interests, and I believe I have done that. Being a Police and Crime Commissioner is about ensuring the safety and security of people in the county and I maintain that what I was doing was serving those interests.”

Mr Hardwick announced he had no intention to resign over this matter, and that he was ‘confident’ that he and Mr Rhodes would be able to work together in the future.

“This never was a personal issue. He is a professional and I am a professional, and we can behave as professionals,” he said.

Mr Rhodes was suspended over allegations of misconduct in the way he handled a race discrimination claim.

An independent investigation by Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, will continue, the commissioner confirmed.