Lincolnshire PCC Alan Hardwick reflects on one year in the job

A year since the elections for the first Police and Crime Commissioner took place, Lincolnshire PCC Alan Hardwick reflects on the past twelve months and looks to the future in a video interview for the force.

The video outlines some personal surprises and highlights and commends certain outstanding projects and investment.

PCC Hardwick said: “I’ll tell you what the year has given me overall, and that is the chance to speak to as many of the people of Lincolnshire and the people I represent as possible, face to face, and also to talk to our staff and officers.

“If only the people of Lincolnshire could do what I’ve done, see what I’ve seen, and learn that they really do have a police voice, which is gold standard.”

In the February 2013, the force met some turbulence after Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes was temporarily suspended from duty by PCC Hardwick due to “potential conduct matters”.

Later in March, Neil Rhodes suspension was quashed. As reported, PCC Alan Hardwick’s decision to suspend Mr Rhodes was described as “irrational” and “perverse” by the judge after a court hearing in Manchester.

After the hearing, the court ordered the costs of the case, estimated to be £50,000, to be met by the PCC, who later confirmed Lincolnshire taxpayers will foot the bill.

An investigation by Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, has cleared Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes of allegations of misconduct by Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.

In April, the PCC invited Lincolnshire residents to learn more about volunteering opportunities and expressed hopes to have all 1,000 positions filled by April 2016.

As reported, the PCC set up a campaign in May for extra police funding and claimed that if all English forces would follow the Lincolnshire model, the government could save more than £1 billion in funding.

Speaking about the future, in the video interview published on November 13, PCC Hardwick said “the number one challenge is financial”.

He goes on to suggest the need for a revamped communications system within the force as well as a hope to ensure staffing numbers do not fall.

The Police and Crime Commisioner’s first twelve months are coming to a close with what has been perceived as a positive HMIC report of regional collaboration arrangements.

“The report, which we did commission, points out what we already knew. We are doing things in a way that is exemplary”, said PCC Hardwick.

Meanwhile, PCC Hardwick received only one application for the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police role paid more than £131,000 per year — from the Temporary Chief Constable, Neil Rhodes.