Panel member wants answers on top cop

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A leading South Holland District Council member is demanding answers about the suspension of Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes.

Deputy leader Coun Paul Przyszlak has called on the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick to come clean about his decision to suspend Mr Rhodes over “potential conduct matters” last week.

Coun Przyszlak, South Holland’s representative on Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel, said suspicion had been created by Mr Hardwick’s failure to explain his decision to suspend the Chief Constable.

Mr Rhodes was due to have his position reviewed later this month and has been temporarily replaced as Chief Constable by his deputy, Alec Wood.

Coun Przyszlak said: “As soon as I heard what had gone on with Neil Rhodes, I made several phone calls but effectively got the standard statement from the PCC’s office that the Chief Constable had been suspended from duty because of potential conduct matters.

“I would dearly like to know what’s going on as we’re clearly not being told everything.

“I understand that if they say anything it would create further suspicion but, then again, by not saying anything it creates suspicion.

“It’s a difficult one but I hope they say something before too long because it really is so much up in the air at the moment.”

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel chairman, Coun Ray Wootten, confirmed he had spoken to Mr Hardwick about the suspension of Mr Rhodes but added that the panel had no involvement in any investigations.

“The PCC informed me of his decision to suspend the Chief Constable but on the panel’s side of things, it doesn’t really concern us,” Coun Wootten said.

“I don’t know the reasons why Mr Rhodes has been suspended but the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and our only involvement would be if Mr Hardwick wanted to recruit a new Chief Constable.”

Meanwhile, South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes said he planned to speak to Mr Hardwick this week about Mr Rhodes’ suspension.

Mr Hayes added: “I think it’s important that we have as much information as we can so we can make a judgement on Mr Rhodes’ position.

“It’s quite a serious matter which is under investigation so the PCC’s office doesn’t want to compromise anything at this stage.”