Police chief Neil Rhodes talks Brexit, his own replacement and PCSO cuts in live web chat

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The outgoing Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes has said his replacement should be a homegrown member of the force in a live streamed interview with The Lincolnite.

The force chief, who recently announced he would be retiring in January after a 31-year policing career, was in the hot seat live, answering questions from readers on Tuesday, October 25.

Readers were able to put their questions to the policing leader on October 25. Pictured: Neil Rhodes with The Lincolnite's Emily Norton

Readers were able to put their questions to the policing leader on October 25. Pictured: Neil Rhodes with The Lincolnite’s Emily Norton

While the office of the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones this week extended the search for the next policing leader overseas for a second time, the current chief said he believed a local candidate would be more suitable.

He also addressed uncertainties faced by the UK’s upcoming departure from the European Union, stating the force needed to work closely with colleagues in Europe in sharing intelligence and information.

“It’s important that we also keep reviewing legislation to ensure that anything that might disappear is replaced with something new,” he said, suggesting European arrest warrants as a subject in the pre-Brexit grey area.

Encouragingly, when touching on the impact the leave vote has had on policing in the county, the chief constable said initial increases in reports of hate crime are now beginning to reduce.

Neil was keen to address ongoing bids for extra government funding, which he said were being re-pitched to the country’s new-look government.

Until Lincolnshire is awarded a bigger “slice of the cake” however, he revealed plans to reduce the number of PCSOs in the county.

Neil explained that while he and the PCC are committed to retaining the county’s 1,100 police constables, its 149 PCSOs would not be back-filled when staff move on or retire.

Watch the full interview: