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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Cumbria chief constable’s suspension ‘not waste of resources’, says minister

Police minister Damian Green has denied that the suspension of chief constable Stuart Hyde is a waste of time and resources.

Stuart Hyde photo
Stuart Hyde

The minister, who helped Tory candidate Richard Rhodes launch his manifesto to be Cumbria’s first police commissioner, was in Cumbria on Saturday.

Mr Hyde remains suspended on full pay despite the Independent Police Complaints Commission ruling that allegations of serious misconduct were “based on unsupported suspicion”.

But Mr Green denied that the suspension was a waste of police time and resources.

He said: “You have got to run a fair process and organisations have to be properly investigated. The individual needs to be treated fairly and that will take a period of time: it is the principle of innocent until proven guilty.”

Mr Rhodes, a retired headteacher, has several radical crime-busting ideas on his manifesto.

He wants to create “parish constables” to tackle rural crime.

Cumbria goes to the polls on November 15 to elect what will the first police and crime commissioner with power to hire and fire and chief constable, take charge of policing priorities and set the force budget.

Speaking at the launch he said: “One of the things I would like to discuss is the creation of parish constables with the power of supers.

“They would answer to the parish council and would be a visible presence within the countryside.”

He also wants to create a fund to compensate the victims of crime through an “office of victim services”, and a volunteer network to offer practical support to the victims of crime.

Mr Rhodes would also set up an “office of public engagement”.

Mr Rhodes faces competition from Labour’s Patrick Leonard, Liberal Democrat Pru Jupe and Independent Mary Robinson.

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