Conservative PCC candidate criticises Alan Hardwick for ‘squandering cash’ on Chief Constable suspension

The Conservative candidate in next year’s Police and Crime Commissioner election has said that the current PCC has “a lot to answer for” after suspending the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police two years ago.

Marc Jones was announced as the Conservative candidate for the elections in 2016 last month, and has wasted little time criticising the record of Alan Hardwick, especially his controversial decision to suspend Chief Constable Neil Rhodes in February 2013.

The suspension, judicial review and subsequent reinstatement of the Chief Constable was estimated to have cost taxpayers more than £165,000.

Councillor Jones said:

“The current Police Commissioner has a lot to answer for after squandering cash on the unnecessary suspension of the Chief Constable – this money should have been spent on frontline policing.”

At the time, the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel requested that the PCC formally apologise over the “unnecessary” suspension of the Chief Constable, which he did so unreservedly.

Councillor Marc Jones writing a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May campaigning for a fairer police funding deal for Lincolnshire

Councillor Marc Jones writing a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May campaigning for a fairer police funding deal for Lincolnshire

The county councillor for Bracebridge and Executive Member for Finance and Property on Lincolnshire County Council has also written to Home Secretary, Theresa May, saying that the force deserves additional funds to fight crime.

He added: “The complex system doesn’t work for us, we are just too big a county, and that is why I have written to the Home Secretary asking for more money for Lincolnshire as part of the current review into police funding.

“When isolated farming communities are being targeted by organised criminal gangs we need to ensure we have the resource to bring the perpetrators to a swift justice.”

Councillor Jones has argued for a new settlement that takes into account the ‘base cost’ of running a rural force such as the extra time spent running police vehicles when compared with urban constabularies.

However, the Home Office has admitted that the proposed new funding formula for police forces in England and Wales was based on flawed calculations, with the old formula likely to be retained for a further year because of this error.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick. Photo Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick. Photo Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Alan Hardwick was contacted by The Lincolnite but chose not to respond to the comments made by Marc Jones.