Stuart Hyde to return to work with Cumbria police
Last updated at 11:33, Monday, 02 September 2013
Police chief Stuart Hyde is to finally return to work after a 12-month suspension – but he will then retire at the end of the year.
Mr Hyde will be back at the county’s police headquarters from next Monday in the role of deputy chief constable, the position he held before being suspended as temporary chief constable.
The county’s current top officer, Bernard Lawson, confirmed Mr Hyde would have a “managed return” and would initially be in charge of a raft of computer and technology-related developments. Read Mr Lawson's statement in full here.
Mr Lawson, who was appointed temporary chief constable after Mr Hyde was suspended, said his predecessor’s behaviour had fallen short “of what the police service and the public should demand”.
But he said Mr Hyde should return to work under a plan “to ensure lessons are learned”.
Mr Hyde said he was pleased the situation had been brought to an end and he could return to work.
He was taken off duty as temporary chief constable last September over allegations levelled at him. It was revealed last week that an investigation did not find evidence of misconduct.
However, the county’s crime commissioner Richard Rhodes, who had ‘jurisdiction’ over Mr Hyde’s status while temporary chief, said there was a case to answer.
He again suspended him on Tuesday and started a process that called for Mr Hyde to retire or resign.
But Mr Hyde’s contract as temporary police chief ended on Friday and at that point his title reverted to that of deputy chief constable.
In this position Mr Hyde’s status was no longer the responsibility of Mr Rhodes and fell under the remit of Mr Lawson.
Mr Rhodes said he supported the move, adding the return to work would be managed by Mr Lawson until the force recruited a permanent chief constable.
Mr Lawson said: “The constabulary has had a great deal of information to digest and decisions to take in a relatively short space of time.
“This has been a difficult time for all concerned and I would like to pay tribute to the patience and understanding shown by the constabulary’s workforce and also to the public of Cumbria.
“On Friday, Stuart Hyde’s contract as temporary chief constable expired, which meant he reverted back to deputy chief constable.
“As chief constable, I am held to account for the delivery of an effective and efficient police force.
“I have concluded that while Mr Hyde’s behaviour did fall short of what the police service and the public should demand from a senior public servant, I do believe that in his role as deputy chief constable, Mr Hyde should return to work, albeit under a detailed plan to ensure lessons are learnt from what has been identified during the investigation.
“Mr Hyde has agreed that he has learnt a great deal from the experience and accepts the recommended management advice.
“He will initially be responsible for a range of strategic IT developments for the force, for which he is nationally recognised.
“He has indicated his intention to retire with effect from December 31.”
Mr Hyde said he was glad a clear line had been drawn under the last 12 months so that he can "continue contributing to policing and making our society safer as I have done for nearly 30 years."
He added: “I have always worked hard for the people of Cumbria and have made a significant contribution to policing in the past and I hope, and expect, this to continue in the future.
"I have learnt a great deal from this ordeal and the comments about my performance that were reflected in the recommendations. I recognise fully the need to improve the way I manage myself and my accountability.”
Mr Rhodes said: “As Police and Crime Commissioner, my position on the events of the last few months is clearly outlined in detail in the various documents issued on August 27 and that, together with my conclusions, remain unchanged.
"I have nothing to add.
"However, it is important to appreciate that that view was relevant to the post of Chief Constable, who is held to account by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“What will happen now is that Mr Hyde’s return to work in his previous role as Deputy Chief Constable will be managed by Mr Lawson in his capacity of Temporary Chief Constable until such time as the process of recruiting a permanent Chief Constable for Cumbria can take place.”
Officers who carried out the inquiry into Mr Hyde made 36 recommendations after their investigation – 12 relating to Mr Hyde, including suggestions he receive advice about his performance.
The other 23 were to the force and one for the Office of the Crime Commissioner, suggesting improvements to policies and procedures and the way they are monitored.
Mr Rhodes found there was sufficient evidence to suggest Mr Hyde:
- Breached the force’s anti-fraud and corruption procedure in respect of a register of gifts and hospitality;
- Breached force policies in relation to a corporate credit card and his use of social media;
- Had the potential to have acted in a manner lacking integrity that breached standards after using air miles accrued through his work for a trip to Tunisia.
Mr Lawson added: “It’s important for me to stress that, as a constabulary, we will look very closely at the recommendations relating to us as an organisation.
“I do not believe that the issues identified are widespread across the force as a great deal of work has already taken place to revise policies and tighten up procedures, but clearly we will make improvements where we need to.”
Michelle Skeer will return to her post as assistant chief constable after performing the deputy role. Jerry Graham, who also previously carried out this job, remains as assistant chief.
First published at 10:39, Monday, 02 September 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
The idea of Police and Crime Commissioners was never a good one in the first place, which the Government should take full responsibility. They are an additional means to politicising the Police as you can see with the continued suspension of Mr Hyde. Mr Hyde I believe he had made it plain he was no fan of elected police commissioners in the past and that Government policy with regards the police had not been thought through. Cumbria constabulary seems to come over as a dysfunctional organisation, with considerable managerial and cultural problems of its own. I suspect Mr Hyde finding himself between a rock and a hard place will be thankful to be out of it at the end of the year.
Ah finally some light at the end of the tunnel. Love it or hate it there is no escape from politics. Reading between the lines Mr. Rhodes doesn't appear to enjoy the support of seasoned Police professionals who wound down the clock until the decision on Mr Hyde's position was no longer his to take. Mr. Rhodes showed poor judgement in continuing to 'grind the axe' after the costly South Wales report clearly showed no serious case to answer. Mr. Hyde appears to have been canny enough to sit tight and keep his counsel. He was a tad naive in his use of the Corporate Credit card and other 'perks' of the position he held. Let's hope the guidance spelled out in revised Policies and Procedures as to what constitutes 'excessive' gifts or hospitality, both given and received, is clear enough such that others do not make similar errors. The tax payers can't afford a re-run.
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