Identity crisis for police boss, according to polls

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.
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The man who oversees policing in Lincolnshire has an identity crisis according to polls showing that his job is a total mystery to the public.

The man who oversees policing in Lincolnshire has an identity crisis according to polls showing that his job is a total mystery to the public.
Alan Hardwick, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said he was unconcerned about the findings of a national poll which found that more than a third of people had no idea whether there was a PCC for their area.

The poll of just over 1,500 adults was done a year after the first PCC elections in November 2012 which saw an average turnout nationally of just under 15 per cent and just over 15 per cent in Lincolnshire.

Another poll done across Lincolnshire found that about 75 per cent of people couldn’t name Mr Hardwick as Lincolnshire’s PCC but he said: “It doesn’t really matter if people know who their PCC is or not, as long as their services are working.
“People don’t know who the chief executives of the gas, electricity and water companies are, but they are there when they need them.

“It’s the same for the police and it’s fine by me if there are people who choose not to engage with me and my role.”

Mr Hardwick has made regular contact with the public a major part of his role, attending community safety and policing events in Spalding, Holbeach and Weston in recent months.

He also met South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes and deputy district council leader Nick Worth in Moulton where completed coupons for our We’ve Had Enough campaign against crime and anti-social behaviour in Spalding were presented to Mr Hardwick.

He said: “The year has given me a chance to talk to as many of the people of Lincolnshire that I represent as possible and also to talk to police officers and staff.

“I always come away with the view that the county has a gold standard police force.”

Expenses are of public concern, says Hardwick

Public outrage over claims that PCCs in England and Wales had run up expenses of about £120,000 was understandable, Mr Hardwick said.
A national newspaper reported that some PCCs had claimed for hotel stays and even a steak pie during their first year in office.
Mr Hardwick, whose own expenses are published online, said: “Transparency is the key and PCCs must know that there will be cause for public comment about their expenses.”

Rhodes on road to becoming chief constable

Lincolnshire PCC Alan Hardwick has backed Temporary Chief Constable Neil Rhodes’ bid to take the job permanently - despite suspending him earlier this year.

Mr Rhodes, who has been Chief Constable since March 2012, was the only applicant for the £131,000-a-year job but his appointment still has to be confirmed by Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel.

A public confirmation hearing is to be held on December 6 after Mr Hardwick proposed that Mr Rhodes should be formally appointed Chief Constable on Monday.

They have continued working together since Mr Hardwick suspended Mr Rhodes in February over a misconduct allegation but it was quashed by a High Court judge a month later.

Mr Rhodes was finally cleared after an investigation led by Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy was completed in August.