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Lincolnshire PCC report shows rise in sexual offences

The number of sexual offences in Lincolnshire has risen by nearly twenty per cent year on year according to the Police and Crime Commissioner's annual report, published today.

Overall crime is down by nearly three per cent and there were big drops in the levels of anti-social behaviour and burglaries.

The commissioner, Alan Hardwick, has defended his policy after the Police Federation criticised him for spending more than £600,000 on police volunteers, instead of frontline officers:

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PCC told he was wrong to suspend Chief Constable

Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has been told he was wrong to suspend the county's temporary Chief Constable, a move that has cost taxpayers more than a £160,000.

A report into the lessons learned reveals Alan Hardwick ignored legal advice when he suspended Neil Rhodes. Mr Rhodes is now confirmed as the new chief and Mr Hardwick said today the pair had moved on.

Chris Kiddey reports:

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Hardwick: Rhodes and I moved on from 'difficulties' some time ago

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Hardwick, says he and Chief Constable, Neil Rhodes, have moved on from their previous 'difficulties':

...the Chief Constable and I work together effectively. I also look forward to further developing the already positive and professional relationship I have with the panel, which the report also recognises. The Chief Constable and I moved on some timeago from the difficulties of last year. Our focus has always been and will remain meeting the needs of the communities of Lincolnshire.

– Alan Hardwick, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Lincolnshire PCC wrong to suspend police chief

The Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner was wrong to suspend Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, a report has found.

Hardwick (left) and Rhodes

The Crime Panel said Alan Hardwick ignored legal advice about the suspension, which ended up costing taxpayers more than £165,000.

It stated that although Mr Hardwick was right to investigate the claim that Mr Rhodes had mishandled an employment tribunal, suspending him was unnecessary.

'Volunteers plan on track', says Alan Hardwick

Alan Hardwick Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Lincolnshire's Police and Crime commissioner says he's confident he'll reach his target of signing up a thousand volunteers over the next two and a half years.

Alan Hardwick is trying to increase the number of unpaid Special Constables as well as general volunteers and cadets. He is also trying to change the law to recruit volunteer PCSO's. 65 new volunteers have come forward since May to join the force, which currently has 433 in total on its books.

Police Federation calls for swift appointment of Lincs top cop

Lincolnshire Police Federation is calling for a permanent chief constable to be appointed swiftly, to bring stability to the force.

It's after temporary chief constable Neil Rhodes was suspended by the Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick back in February over allegations of misconduct.

But yesterday, following a judicial review overturning that decision, an independent report has also now recommended the misconduct allegation be withdrawn. There are now four people currently in temporary positions at the top of the force.

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