Police and Crime Panel task group to scrutinise PCC Hardwick’s suspension of Chief Constable

The Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel agreed to form a ‘task group’ to scrutinise the circumstances and implications resulting from the Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick’s quashed decision to suspend the Chief Constable Neil Rhodes.

After a brief meeting on Thursday at East Lindsey District Council’s Manby HQ, the panel decided the cross political party task group will be chaired by Chris Cook, an independent member.

Some members of the public have called the meeting a “shambles” after they were inadvertently excluded, because they were only brought into the chamber at 1.15pm — moments after the meeting finished.

The task group will consider the events surrounding the decision by PCC Hardwick to suspend Chief Constable Rhodes and focus on what lessons can be learnt.

Alan Hardwick’s decision was quashed in court earlier this year, labelled by a judge as “irrational and perverse”. Neil Rhodes returned to his post since.

An investigation into allegations about Neil Rhodes’ conduct set up by PCC Hardwick is still under review by Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy.

Chris Cook said: “There has been significant interest in the recent situation and I’ve been tasked with leading the working group to fully explore what has happened and how we can support the Commissioner in his role by helping to ensure such situations don’t re-occur.

“This work will be thorough and we will be asking challenging questions before reporting back to the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel later in the year.”

The working group is expected to report its findings back to the Police and Crime Panel meeting in September.

The Police and Crime Panel has the power and responsibility to scrutinise the actions and decisions of the Police and Crime Commissioner and review the draft Police and Crime Plan to ensure local priorities have been considered, among others.