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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Spotlight set to fall on Cumbria's new temporary chief constable

Cumbria's new temporary chief constable was expected to fall under the spotlight today when he appears at a public meeting.

Bernard Lawson photo
Bernard Lawson

Bernard Lawson, deputy chief constable of Merseyside Police, is standing in as the county’s most senior police officer following the suspension of Stuart Hyde over allegations of serious misconduct.

Mr Lawson has kept a low public profile since taking on the role nearly two weeks ago but was expected to be at a meeting this afternoon of the force watchdog, Cumbria Police Authority.

The county’s chief constable will usually comment on the policing picture in the county at these meetings as well as discuss issues including police finances.

They often take questions from members throughout discussions. Issues being covered at the meeting today included the transition towards the arrival of an elected crime commissioner later this year. Mr Hyde was suspended from duty by Cumbria Police Authority nearly two weeks ago.

It said it acted “following a number of allegations of serious misconduct, which may indicate there has been a breach in the standards of professional behaviour”.

In a statement, Mr Hyde said he had been proud to serve the people of Cumbria and wished to continue in the job, adding he was “devastated” when told about the allegations.

The precise nature of the allegations has not been revealed but it is understood they have come from two senior officers.

The meeting was being held at the force’s Carleton Hall headquarters, near Penrith, at 1pm

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