Judge quashes top cop’s suspension

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Lincolnshire Police is in limbo this week after a judge quashed the suspension of Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, although the man responsible claimed his original decision was justified.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick hinted that the ruling by a judge at the Administrative Court, Manchester, to end Mr Rhodes’ suspension was at odds with the alleged evidence against him.

The judge described Mr Hardwick’s decision to suspend the Chief Constable as “irrational” and “perverse” after Mr Rhodes sought a judicial review last Wednesday to quash the suspension.

It surrounds Mr Rhodes’ support of lawyer Afzal Hussain who took action against West Yorkshire Police over alleged racial discrimination when he was sacked after 17 years’ service.

At the hearing, Mr Rhodes’ lawyers argued that he had acted in good faith by trying to get Mr Hussain and West Yorkshire Police to settle their differences by negotiation.

They claimed Mr Hardwick overreacted to the situation by suspending the Chief Constable, a move they said was “unlawful and irrational.”

But in a statement after the court ruling, Mr Hardwick said: “Whilst accept the decision, I must emphasise that the Court’s interpretation of the information I received is very different to mine.

“My concern is that in future, any decision made by a Police and Crime Commissioner which could be considered contentious, is likely to be open to challenge in the courts.”

Mr Hardwick added that an internal investigation into Mr Rhodes’ conduct by the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, would continue.”