Lincolnshire Police in dark over chief's suspension

Neil Rhodes, Lincolnshire Police's new Chief Constable Neil Rhodes has been suspended over "conduct matters"

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The acting leader of Lincolnshire Police has said the force still does not know why its chief constable was suspended.

Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick suspended Neil Rhodes over "conduct matters" last week.

Speaking in an interview with the force's media team, acting Ch Con Alec Wood said it had been a difficult week.

The PCC has not yet revealed the reason for the suspension.

"This has been an unprecedented week for Lincolnshire Police," said Mr Wood.

Analysis

For the second time in 12 months, Lincolnshire Police is in uncharted waters.

Last year it signed a multi-million pound deal to out-source some of its departments.

Now its chief constable is suspended by the county's first police and crime commissioner. And very few people seem to know why, including the acting chief constable or his rank and file officers. It's unsettling for them and baffling for others.

PCC Alan Hardwick says he'll release more details when he can.

He knows that this decision is so-far unprecedented for someone in his newly-created position.

"It is very unusual for a chief constable to be suspended. The decision has been taken entirely by the PCC. The force and I have no knowledge as to why Neil Rhodes has been suspended.

"All I know is I've been asked to step up as acting chief in the interim and I'll do my very, very best to lead this force forward over the next few weeks and months," he said.

On Monday, Mr Hardwick denied that the suspension of the temporary chief constable has unsettled the force and that it was "business as usual".

G4S deal

Deputy Chief Constable Alec Wood was appointed acting chief constable last week.

Mr Rhodes took up the role on a temporary basis when the previous chief constable Richard Crompton retired at the end of March, last year.

His appointment followed a deal with private security company G4S to run an out-of-town custody suite at the force's Nettleham headquarters, near Lincoln.

He said the changes would save the force money for front-line police officers and police community support officers.

In November Mr Hardwick said he would scrap the plans.

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