Cumbria's chief constable to be asked to retire or resign
Last updated at 15:27, Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Stuart Hyde, Cumbria's temporary chief constable, is to be asked to resign or retire by the county's police commissioner.
It was revealed last month that an investigation into the conduct of Mr Hyde, prompted by allegations that have never been publicly revealed, had been completed and that he had been cleared of gross misconduct, misconduct and criminality. You can read the Executive Summary of the South Wales Police Report here.
Investigators recommended, the News & Star understands, that he should be subject to 'management advice', a sanction which is the lowest form of resolution.
However, police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes today said the report included 35 recommendations, 12 relating directly to Mr Hyde and that there was a misconduct case to answer.
“The report from South Wales Police shows that Temporary Chief Constable Stuart Hyde conducted himself below the standards of professional behaviour and public expectations.
"It is expected that police officers act with the utmost integrity and professionalism, this is even more imperative for the rank of Chief Constable," he added.
After “careful consideration”, he said, he proposed to start the process to ask temporary Chief Constable Hyde to retire or resign.
His reasons for re-suspending Mr Hyde, who earns £130,000 a year and was initially suspended on full pay last September, are:
- 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
- A lack of confidence on the part of senior staff in Mr Hyde's ability to deliver the requirements of operational policing
- Mr Hyde's lack of professionalism
- his repeated demonstration of very poor judgement
Mr Rhodes claimed Mr Hyde had demonstrated a “lack of judgement” in his use of the force credit card and there had been an “apparent failure” to adhere to policies in relation to the proper provision of full receipts and the use of his card for personal or unauthorised expenditure.
Mr Rhodes said there were "genuine and substantiated concerns" about Mr Hyde's ability to deliver operational policing when he was temporary Chief Constable.
He added there had been a "distinct lack of confidence" from senior staff in his ability and he was concerned at his lack of professionalism.
He said Mr Hyde had:
- demonstrated a lack of judgement in using his corporate credit card
- accrued air miles on a business trip to finance a personal one to Tunisia during annual leave
- used the card over four years in breach of force procedure more than 50 per cent of the time and used it for personal expenses "on a number of occasions." Although these were repaid, the absence of VAT receipts in more than 50 per cent of claims has impeded further checks," he said.
- He had used the card in the force area - despite this being contrary to policy, Mr Rhodes said.
"I consider that Mr Hyde has repeatedly demonstrated very poor judgement for example as indicated by the nature and substance of some of his use of social media," he said.
A number of Tweets may have undermined public confidence in the police and promoted local businesses or products.
"There was underlying evidence that some tweets could be considered unprofessional or offensive and /or which might be deemed to be discreditable conduct," he added.
He also failed to include certain matters in the register of gifts or hospitality, he said.
Mr Hyde was absent from the force 22 per cent of his working days when Deputy Chief Constable, on trips to Amsterdam, Romania and Washington DC.
Mr Rhodes - who intends to write to policing minister Damian Green outlining his concerns that the existing conduct process for senior officers is too lengthy and costly - said this "appeared to demonstrate a lack of focus on strategic priorities for Cumbria."
Mr Hyde said in June that he had no plans to retire this autumn even though he was eligible to step down after 30 years’ service, adding his main priority was still to clear his name.
He added his commitment to policing and Cumbria was undiminished and he hoped "to return to serving its communities within the near future."
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said in October that the allegations against him did not amount to serious misconduct but some matters may require investigation. An inquiry was then carried out by South Wales Police.
Mr Rhodes has renewed the suspension every month, saying he should stay away from duty while investigations continue.
Cumbria’s policing funds are bearing the cost of his temporary replacement, Bernard Lawson, the deputy chief constable of Merseyside, who is on the same salary as Mr Hyde.
First published at 14:20, Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
@John Hyde. Remember the big difference between your brother and Rhodes. People RESPECT your brother!
Perhaps it is time for the news and star to do a poll as to whether Richard Rhodes should retire or not. He has wasted too much time and public money and has too little public support to continue. I think it's time for a taxi ( or chauffeur driven car if preferred ) for Rhodes.
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