Top cop to talk at PCC conference

Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police Neil Rhodes

Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police Neil Rhodes

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Lincolnshire ‘s chief constable is to be a keynote speaker at a conference looking at the first year of police and crime commissioners.

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes will be among a dozen speakers , including commissioners and representatives of police and crime panels and probation services, at a conference in October.

The National Police and Crime Commissioners Conference will look at the lessons learned in the first year and the key challenges in delivering police and crime plans.

A spokesman for event organisers Capita Conferences said: “With further responsibility for making grants for other organisations and ensuring police are accountable to the communities they serve, it is essential to hear best practice and ensure that police and crime commissioners are meeting the needs of their local area.

The event will cover topics such as funding and commissioning, the role of police and crime panels and working with victims and witnesses, giving delegates the opportunity to talk to colleagues about best practice.

There will also be discussion on the role of police and crime panels in scrutinising the work of Police and Crime Commissioners.

Police and Crime Commissioners were elected last November, but it has been a shaky start for the role in Lincolnshire.

Independent candidate Alan Hardwick, a former TV news presenter, won by 4,000 votes.

But just a few months later, in February, he was hitting the headlines when he took a decision to suspend Neil Rhodes.

Initially he refused to give an explanation for the suspension, but later revealed it was over an allegation at an employment tribunal.

In March, the suspension was overturned following a hearing in the High Court, where a judge labelled it “irrational and perverse”.

Mr Hardwick insisted he stood by his decision when he was quizzed by a committee of MPs, despite the £50,000 bill the High Court hearing landed him with.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel chairman Coun Ray Wootten was also asked by MPs why it took 72 days to organise a crime panel meeting to look at Neil Rhodes’ suspension.

Mr Wootten later resigned as chairman and Norman Norris is acting as interim chairman until the group’s next meeting, which is due to be held in September.