‘Unlikely’ that Lincolnshire’s chief constable and commissioner can carry on

In happier times: Neil Rhodes and Alan Hardwick
In happier times: Neil Rhodes and Alan Hardwick

A member of Lincolnshire’s police and crime panel says its unlikely that the county’s top cop and elected commissioner can carry on working together.

Temporary chief constable Neil Rhodes today saw Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick’s decision to suspend him from duty overturned at the high court in Manchester.

A member of the panel that scrutinises the role of the recently-elected commissioner said he fears this will not be the end of the matter.

Coun Paul Przyszlak said today’s decision relates to whether the ‘process’ surrounding the decision was correct and does not solve the issue that caused the suspension in the first place.

Mr Rhodes’ temporary contract with the force is thought to be about to end and Coun Przyszlak says he believes that he will not stay on, leaving Mr Hardwick to search for a replacement.

He said: “It is sad for Lincolnshire and finding a replacement now won’t be easy.

“I am assuming that he is unlikely to give him a permanent contract now. Can they ever work together?”

Coun Przyszlak said he expects the panel to debate the way in which the suspension decision was made and hopes more will be revealed about the case.

He said: “No doubt it will all come out in the wash but at the moment we are in limbo other than we now have a judgement that says the procees was flawed.

“I think we need to know more about what was behind it.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “It is for PCCs to make decision around appointing, suspending and removing chief constables.

“The PCC will wish to consider the court’s judgement.

“We understand that an investigation is still ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”