Resign or retire - top Cumbria cop told
Last updated at 10:11, Wednesday, 28 August 2013
THE suspended chief constable of Cumbria police has been told to resign or retire by the county’s police and crime commissioner.
Richard Rhodes has today issued a notice which outlines the reasons for the call under section 38 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act.
Mr Rhodes said there is a ‘lack of confidence’ in Mr Hyde’s leadership and claimed Mr Hyde’s conduct on Twitter has repeatedly shown a lack of judgement.
The investigation has cost Cumbria police more than £300,000 including the £189,000 salary of temporary of Bernard Lawson, who has been drafted in to cover for the suspended Mr Hyde.
Cumbria police has incurred £158,809 in legal costs along with the salary of Mr Hyde, who has been suspended for a year.
The investigation has cost South Wales Police £11,884.89.
Mr Rhodes said: “It is extremely disappointing the length of time and cost of the investigation process which has taken place into a number of allegations against Temporary Chief Constable Stuart Hyde.
“When I was elected on 16 November 2012, I inherited the suspension of Temporary Chief Constable Stuart Hyde from the outgoing Police Authority.
“The Police Authority had already made the decision to suspend Temporary Chief Constable Stuart Hyde and had commissioned South Wales Police to investigate following a referral back from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
“Following my election I took the view that as the investigation was underway it should continue as planned.
“In April 2013, at the request of the Senior Investigating Officer a new matter was included in the investigation and South Wales Police had to be allowed the time to investigate this fully.
“In July, I was presented by South Wales Police with an investigation report. I have studied the report and reviewed some of the underlying evidence. The investigating officer’s report concludes that he did not find evidence of misconduct but does
included 36 recommendations, twelve recommendations relate directly to Mr Hyde and the remaining twenty-three to the Constabulary and one for the OPCC for improvements to policies and procedures and the way they are monitored.
“The report from South Wales Police shows that Temporary Chief Constable Stuart Hyde conducted himself below the standards of professional behaviour and public expectations. It is expected that police officers act with the utmost integrity and professionalism, this is even more imperative for the rank of Chief Constable.
“The South Wales Police report shows evidence that Mr Hyde has breached Cumbria Constabulary’s Corporate Card Procedures on more than 50% of the occasions when he used the card over each of the last four years by not providing proper receipts and on occasion purchasing personal items although where identified these have been reimbursed.
“The report also finds that Mr Hyde used his corporate credit card for expenses whilst in the force area (Cumbria) despite being contrary to the policy and not withstanding that he was in receipt of an in-force subsistence allowance of £700 per year."
The investigation has cleared Mr Hyde of misconduct.
He issued a statement which said: "It should not come as a surprise that I do not agree with all of what has been said, and that I have a right to make the other side of this inquiry public. In any investigation or inquiry there will always be different perceptions of what occurred and the purpose should be to identify the truth.
"I believe that there is a different perspective than that offered by the PCC.
"I remain absolutely clear that I still wish to serve the people of Cumbria to the best of my ability. If I considered that the evidence found in the investigation justified the view that I was no longer fit to be a senior police officer I would have retired immediately. I do not believe that view is representative of the findings. I am determined to bring these matters to a conclusion and remain willing –as I have previously suggested to the PCC – to undertake mediation."
John Woodcock, Barrow and Furness MP, said: "These are serious findings but it has taken an inexcusable length of time to get to this point.
"The absurdly drawn out investigation has left Cumbria's police force without leadership for many months and should never have been allowed to drag on by Home Secretary.
"Our constabulary is in urgent need of proper direction and the government must show it will learn from this fiasco which has let down the people of Cumbria."
Tim Farron, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, said: "I want to hear concrete reassurances from the Commissioner that all the necessary legal procedures have been followed to the letter. I also want him to agree to show all the evidence to the independent scrutiny panel to allow them to make a judgement. The public do not know the full extent of the situation and they deserve to know what has happened.
“Whatever happens next it must be done swiftly for the sake of taxpayers in Cumbria and it must be done properly to ensure there are no court cases later that could cost further valuable public money.”
First published at 14:29, Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Perfect example of how politics should stay out of policing. Despite the current PCC's own failures when it comes to expense issues, he chooses to use similar accusations to get rid of an officer who has been found to have no serious questions to answer. Okay, a senior officer should be 'whiter than white' but how must morale amongst the rank and file be now? RR as a former magistrate had my vote originally in the hope that we could get a real push for victims rights, now he punishes someone who has been all but cleared after a 400 k inquiry. Perhaps RR should have stopped with being a head teacher....disciplining kids appears to be his limit. So dissatisfied with the PCC's need to make a point for their own ends!!
Mr Hyde has been cleared of misconduct so people in glass houses shouldnt throw stones Mr Rhodes. At least nobody was arrested in an attempt to cover up allegations against him unlike some. For someone who was elected to their post by a tiny minority vote to take the moral high ground is more than a bit rich dont you think!!!!!! Total waste of taxpayers money if anyone should go...Mr Rhodes...hit the road.
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