Lincolnshire’s top cop cleared of misconduct

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Lincolnshire Police’s temporary Chief Constable Neil Rhodes has been cleared of misconduct after an independent review.

Mr Rhodes was suspended by the police and crime commissioner Alan Hardwick in February over his involvement in a employment dispute.

The inquiry, lead by the head of Greater Manchester Police Sir Peter Fahy, concluded that there was no evidence to suggest Mr Rhodes acted improperly.

He had been accused of mishandling a colleague’s racial discrimination employment tribunal claim against West Yorkshire Police.

Speaking after the publication of the 39 page report, Mr Rhodes said he was ‘delighted’ to have been completely exonerated.

“I have sought over the last six months to maintain a dignified silence, safe in the knowledge that I knew that there was never any substance in the spurious allegation,” he said.

“I do not intend to depart from this approach, and wish simply to get on with my job of working with the commissioner to provide effective and improving policing for our county of Lincolnshire.”

“I was simply humbled by the many messages I received, and continue to receive, from ordinary members of the public who I have never met.”

“I just can’t thank all of you enough. It inspires me to work harder for you all,” he added.

He also confirmed he would apply for the position when the commissioner decided to recruit a permanent chief constable.

Mr Hardwick thanked Sir Peter for conducting a ‘thorough investigation’ and said his recommendations were the right ones.

He continued: “I am pleased that we are able to bring what has been an unwanted and unwelcome distraction for the chief constable and me to a conclusion.”

“We will both now be able to continue to focus fully on the business of policing Lincolnshire.”

“I also want to express my thanks to Chief Constable Rhodes for the professionalism he has displayed throughout what has been a difficult period. I look forward to continuing our successful working relationship.”