The Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel has approved the appointment of Neil Rhodes as Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
Neil Rhodes applied for the position in October, the only application for the Chief Constable position, with support from Lincolnshire PCC Alan Hardwick.
It was then up to the Crime Panel to approve the appointment on December 6.
Mr Rhodes initially joined Lincolnshire Police as a constable in 1986 and left in 2001 on promotion to Humberside and Cumbria.
He returned to the force in 2008 as Deputy Chief Constable, and was recently in the role of temporary Chief Constable.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed as Chief. After five years away in Humberside and Cumbria, being appointed Deputy Chief Constable here in Lincolnshire in 2008 was like coming home for me.
“The Chief’s job really is the icing on the cake and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my career making Lincolnshire Police and the service we deliver the very best I possibly can.”
“The officers and staff are really delivering for us with continuing reductions in crime – whilst other areas of the country struggle; and there is an improving picture in terms of detecting and resolving crime.
“I take my hat off to everyone when you consider all this is being done with 10% fewer officers than we had two years ago.”
Neil Rhodes also discussed that he wanted residents to feel safe generally, in their own homes and while they go about their daily life.
“We’ve got to give them confidence that this county is safe and well policed. Despite success in reducing crime there is a rising demand in calls for assistance and continuing austerity will bring its own challenges.
“We need to give our communities that confidence that we will be there when they need us.”
Discussing financial issues, Chief Constable Rhodes added that the force had balanced its books for the next two years.
He said: “I’m confident that we can sustain 1,100 officers and 149 PCSOs – and we’ve done that in probably the toughest circumstances in the country.
“Working closely with the Commissioner we now need to make sure we get a fair deal for Lincolnshire from the Government in the years ahead.
“When you compare us to almost all other forces we beat them hands down in terms of quality of service delivered at very low-cost.
“We want to share those lessons and ensure we retain a sensible level of funding that means we can sustain and improve policing here.”
He concluded: “…the most important thing for me is all of this needs to be underpinned by a rock-solid commitment to neighbourhood policing from a family force that is firmly rooted in its community.”
Lincolnshire PCC Alan Hardwick said on December 9 that he was pleased with the appointment of Neil Rhodes.
The PCC said: “With Neil Rhodes appointed I am looking forward to the future with great optimism.
“We share the same visions for Lincolnshire; reducing crime, police and services that are there when you need them, and a fair deal for the people of Lincolnshire.
“Neil’s considerable experience of Lincolnshire’s communities and the issues they face will mean that together, we can continue to keep the county one of the safest in which to live.
“Crime continues to fall, and we can build on initiatives covering everything from volunteers to victims and policing to partnerships, to further demonstrate that this force continues to punch well above its weight.
“I would like to take this opportunity, also, to thank the Police and Crime Panel for their endorsement of my decision to appoint our new Chief Constable.
“The panel is an important component in the success of our policing strategy.”
See a continuation of the PCC’s comment on the new Chief Constable appointment: