Former Cumbria police chief slams investigation
Last updated at 20:17, Sunday, 02 February 2014
A FORMER Cumbria police chief constable who was cleared of misconduct following a £400,000 inquiry has complained that it “felt as if the world had just dropped out of my life”.
Stuart Hyde was suspended for a year from his £130,000-a-year post as temporary chief constable of Cumbria Police in September 2012 amid claims he had misused a police credit card and business air miles, posted questionable pictures on Twitter and spent too much time away from the county.
A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) cleared him of misconduct but Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner, Richard Rhodes, disagreed with some of its findings and re-suspended Mr Hyde.
He was eventually allowed to return to his original role of deputy chief constable after the conclusion of an investigation by South Wales police which found no evidence of malpractice and retired on December 31.
Talking to the BBC’s Inside Out programme, Mr Hyde said: “It doesn’t feel like a fair process at all. What it feels like is a one-sided view.
“People who made allegations were treated as correct without any opportunity for me to address them and I don’t think that is what justice is about. If it was a court room or a discipline tribunal I would have been given all of the statements, all of the information.
“I am now still fighting to get hold of them. I will get them eventually and I hope I will be able to make some judgements.”
Mr Hyde, who had a 30-year career as a police officer, said that his emails, diary and expenses were all placed under the spotlight during the investigation.
Investigators also looked into concerns about his private meetings with businesses and contractors.
“I think they believed I was some sort of corrupt officer doing dodgy deals here there and everywhere – that was not the case,” Mr Hyde said.
“In essence that was the net result of the investigation – ’Stuart get your paperwork in order, tell people what you are doing and move on’.”’
Police and crime commissioner Mr Rhodes said in a statement: “The suspension of temporary chief constable Stuart Hyde was undertaken in accordance with the police regulations.
“As a public body there are strict legal rules as to what information can and should be released.
“The office of the police and crime commissioner will always endeavour to be as open and transparent as possible.”
First published at 20:16, Sunday, 02 February 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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