Temporary Chief Constable given 'retire or resign' ultimatum by Crime Commissioner (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Temporary Chief Constable given 'retire or resign' ultimatum by Crime Commissioner
5:22pm Tuesday 27th August 2013 in News
THE suspended temporary chief constable of Cumbria Police has been urged to ‘retire or resign’.
The call was made today by police and crime commissioner, Richard Rhodes, despite an independent inquiry concluding there was ‘no evidence of misconduct’ on the part of suspended temporary chief constable, Stuart Hyde.
Mr Hyde has this afternoon issued a statement expressing his ‘surprise and shock’ that Mr Rhodes has ‘not accepted the conclusion’ of the South Wales force.
He told the Gazette the last 12 months have been ‘the worst’ of his life. “It’s been dreadful,” he said. “It’s been the most stressful year of my life.”
In his statement released today Mr Rhodes alleged that Mr Hyde: • Used his corporate credit card ‘in breach of constabulary procedures’ on more than 50 per cent of occasions in which he used the card • Used a corporate credit card for personal expenses • Demonstrated ‘poor judgement’ in his use of social media • Used air miles accrued during a work trip to Bermuda to finance a personal trip to Tunisia • Was absent for 22 per cent of his working days, when he took trips to Amsterdam, Romania and Washington DC He said: “I am aware that there were genuine and substantiated concerns about Mr Hyde's ability to deliver operational policing during the eight months when he was Temporary Chief Constable, prior to his suspension.
“In my view, and as demonstrated by the concerns raised, there has been a distinct lack of confidence on the part of senior staff within the Constabulary in Mr Hyde's ability to deliver the requirements of operational policing.”
Mr Rhodes also said today the full costs of the investigation have totalled £11,884.
Another £158,809 has been spent on legal fees, which has come from Mr Rhodes’ department’s budget, while £189,000 in costs were incurred by Cumbria Police regarding the secondment of Mr Hyde’s replacement, Bernard Lawson.
Mr Rhodes added: “It is extremely disappointing the length of time and cost of the investigation process which has taken place into a number of allegations against temporary chief constable Stuart Hyde.”
Mr Hyde has been off duty since last year, after allegations against him came to light in September.
Mr Hyde spoke of his ‘devastation’ when the matters were first raised and has issued statements expressing disappointment at his continued suspension.
An investigation has since been carried out by South Wales Police, who sent a final report to Mr Rhodes last month with 36 recommendations and a conclusion that there was no evidence of misconduct.
In his statement Mr Hyde added: “What is really important is that after a year-long inquiry the investigation conducted under the leadership of Peter Vaughan, chief constable of South Wales Police, into my role as temporary chief constable, has found no evidence of misconduct, gross misconduct or criminality.
“What I am surprised and shocked about is that the police and crime commissioner has not accepted their conclusion and has chosen to substitute his own despite a clear statement that there is no evidence of misconduct.”
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