Crowland councillor gets role on crime panel

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A South Holland district councillor has been handed a major role in holding the man overseeing policing in Lincolnshire to account.

Coun Paul Przyszlak was elected vice chairman of the county’s Police and Crime Panel at its September meeting where Norman Norris was elected chairman.

Formally a member of Lincolnshire Police Authority, which was replaced by the panel in November 2012, Coun Przyszlak will play an important part in monitoring the work of Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick.

“I’m looking forward to this new role and all that it entails which includes a visit from the Home Affairs Select Committee at the end of the year,” Coun Przyszlak.

“I’m also looking forward to holding the Commissioner to account in what will be an interesting year for the Police and Crime Panel.”

Select committee members are to visit Lincolnshire later this year as part of a review of PCCs and in the aftermath of Mr Hardwick’s decision to suspend Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes over a misconduct allegation in February.

The suspension was quashed by a High Court judge a month later and Mr Rhodes was finally cleared in August after an independent investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by him.

But the panel came under fire from the select committee over its handling of the affair which led to Mr Norris becoming acting chairman in June when Coun Ray Wootten resigned over claims that he had “inadvertently” misled MPs about a 72-day delay in the panel discussing the suspension.

Mr Harris said: “I am delighted to have been elected to the position of chairman of the panel for Lincolnshire at what is an important time for policing in the county.

“I will lead the panel and ensure we are robust in our scrutiny of the Commissioner as we support him in making Lincolnshire a safer place to live, work and visit.”

A spokesman for the Commissioner said: “Mr Hardwick looks forward to working effectively with the new chairman, vice chairman and rest of panel members.”