Acting chief in dark on probe

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The acting Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police has admitted being in the dark over the suspension of Neil Rhodes over his conduct.

In his first interview since taking up the job temporarily, acting Chief Constable Alec Wood said he had no knowledge why Mr Rhodes had been suspended by Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick last week.

The matter is currently in the hands of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) but it has not yet decided whether to launch a formal investigation into allegations against Mr Rhodes.

But Mr Wood did confess that the past week had been difficult for the force and he was determined to lead it to the best of his ability.

He said: “It’s been an unprecedented week for Lincolnshire Police as it’s highly unusual for a Chief Constable to be suspended.

“The decision has been taken entirely by the PCC and the force, myself included, have no knowledge of the circumstances as to why Neil Rhodes has been suspended.

“I was asked to step up as interim Chief Constable and will do my very, very best to lead the force forward during the next weeks and months.”

Coun Paul Przyszlak, Deputy Leader of South Holland District Council and a member of Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel, called on Mr Hardwick to make public the circumstances surrounding Mr Rhodes’s suspension earlier this week.

“I can’t imagine what the problem would be because from my experience of Neil Rhodes, he’s always struck me as being a very straightforward guy,” Coun Przyszlak said.

“But then again, who knows what goes on behind close doors?”

An IPCC spokeswoman said: “We have received further information from the Lincolnshire PCC in relation to a potential conduct matter concerning Neil Rhodes which will be considered.

“But the IPCC is not at this stage formally investigating him.”