Alan Hardwick welcomed by Chief Constable Neil Rhodes at Lincolnshire Police HQ>
The first Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner officially started his job on Thursday at the police HQ in Nettleham.
Former TV presenter Alan Hardwick was elected in the job last week, amid a 15% turnout across Lincolnshire and just over 14% in Lincoln.
He already made two announcements: the Nettleham custody suite project will not go ahead and the West Parade police station in Lincoln will remain open.
The PCC will approve budgets, set strategic priorities and recruit or dismiss chief constables, but will not take decisions on day-to-day police operations.
Alan Hardwick, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It’s my first official day, but of course, the week since I’ve been elected I’ve been able to hold meetings with the Chief Constable and I’ve met his senior staff. I’ve also met my own staff; it’s important to set the strategic direction in this new era of policing.
“The Chief Constable and myself have determined that we are going to be shoulder to shoulder on this one. We’re not going to be put off by the fact that the government have taken some money away from us — £1.8 million per year in the form of a rural grant that was removed from us.
“We’re determined to show them that Lincolnshire is being unfairly treated and to try and redress the balance. In fact, they do know that Lincolnshire is being unfairly treated. All we’re wanting in the first instance is to ask for our money back, £1.8 million, and secondly to have a look at the ridiculous funding formula used to penalise Lincolnshire and other rural counties.”
Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, added: “I’ve just greeted Alan Hardwick on the steps of our headquarters. He is really welcomed to this organisation; he’s an individual who knows Lincolnshire Police well and he’s got a very clear idea of where this organisation needs to go.
“Together with the Police and Crime Commissioner I’m looking forward to going down to Whitehall to meet with ministers and to put in — yet again, and quite forcefully — the case for a proper funding package for Lincolnshire Police.
“We already operate a force that’s very efficient, that provides policing at the lowest cost in the country. We need to be able to stabilise and sustain officer numbers to make sure we can continue improving that service.”
Photos: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
The PCC and Chief Constable are also on Twitter: