Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Suspension-row police chief returns

Neil Rhodes is set to return as Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police

A chief constable who overturned a suspension can return to his job.

Neil Rhodes will lead Lincolnshire Police as Chief Constable from Tuesday.

The force's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick had previously said Mr Rhodes could only return as Deputy Chief Constable because he was out of contract after March 31.

Following talks between the two at the weekend, Mr Hardwick has now changed his mind, with Mr Rhodes set to stay in his role for the immediate future.

Mr Rhodes was suspended by the PCC and remains the subject of an investigation over "potential conduct matters".

The Independent Police Complaints Commission declined to look at the allegation against Mr Rhodes as it did not amount to what could be considered serious misconduct.

In a statement, Mr Hardwick said he and Mr Rhodes had "jointly agreed" the Chief Constable's full reinstatement was in "the best interests of Lincolnshire Police".

Mr Hardwick said: "In reaching this agreement the importance of stability in the leadership of the force has been the primary concern."

Mr Hardwick said Mr Rhodes would continue leading the police "until the completion of the investigation and any consequent procedures are complete. The recruitment of a permanent Chief Constable will also be delayed pending this outcome."

Mr Rhodes has previously said he just wanted to "get back to work".