‘Sorry to chief is not enough,’ says panel members

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes with Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.
Chief Constable Neil Rhodes with Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.
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Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has been told to apologise “to the people of Lincolnshire” for the costs involved in suspending Chief Constable Neil Rhodes.

The request from the county’s Police and Crime Panel to Alan Hardwick came as he publicly apologised to Mr Rhodes for the “experience and anxiety” caused to him and his family by the suspension in February 2013.

It concerned a misconduct allegation made against Mr Rhodes by West Yorkshire Police chief executive Fraser Sampson.

But a High Court judge overturned the suspension in March 2013, branding it “irrational and perverse”, and now panel members want Mr Hardwick to say sorry for costing taxpayers more than £165,000 in costs associated with the decision to suspend Mr Rhodes.

A statement from the panel on Monday said: “We have looked closely at the events surrounding the suspension of the Chief Constable and the costs incurred.

“The panel is pleased that the Commissioner has apologised to the Chief Constable, however we still believe some of the expenditure that was incurred through the suspension could and should have been avoided.

“The panel still expects to see an apology given to the people of Lincolnshire for incurring unnecessary public expenditure which could have been better utilised in supporting the police service.”

In a letter to the panel, also on Monday, Mr Hardwick said: “I am very happy to apologise to anyone who feels an apology is deserved and I have apologised to the Chief Constable.”