1. ITV Report

Cumbria's temporary Chief Constable suspended

Cumbria's temporary Chief Constable has been suspended Photo: Cumbria Police

The temporary chief constable of Cumbria has been suspended following a number of claims of serious misconduct.

Stuart Hyde was relieved of his duties following a meeting of Cumbria Police Authority yesterday.

Cumbria Police Authority chairman Ray Cole said: "The decision has been taken following a number of allegations of serious misconduct, which may indicate there has been a breach in the standards of professional behaviour by Mr Hyde in his activities as temporary chief constable."

In a statement, Mr Cole continued: "The authority takes all allegations against any police officer seriously and must address these allegations in an appropriate manner.

"On behalf of the authority, I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the community that Cumbria Constabulary remains a high-performing force, who are committed to ensuring that Cumbria remains a safe place to live, work and visit.

"This is an isolated matter and does in no way reflect the conduct of the wider constabulary.

"All staff have been informed of this decision.

"We have consulted with HMIC, who have given us guidance on continuing leadership of Cumbria Constabulary. Deputy chief constable, Bernard Lawson, from Merseyside Police has assumed the role of Chief constable of Cumbria Constabulary, temporarily, effective immediately.

"The matter has now been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as per the proper protocol.

"We have no further comment to make at this time."

Mr Lawson said: "I would like to reassure the people of Cumbria that we will continue to work hard during this difficult period to deliver the high standards of service they have come to expect from us.

"The constabulary is fortunate to have police officers and staff who are committed to serving local communities and dedicated to making a difference to the quality of people's lives. We are certainly all determined to ensure this continues as we work to make Cumbria safer."

Mr Hyde was appointed to his present role in January when former chief constable Craig Mackey was appointed deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Bristol-born Mr Hyde was awarded the Queen's Medal this year.

According to his biography on the Cumbria Constabulary website, he joined Avon & Somerset Constabulary in August 1983.

In 1997 he became a detective superintendent in West Yorkshire Police and was then promoted to the post of assistant chief constable of West Midlands Police in April 2004.

His national responsibilities have included the police use of DNA, creating the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre CEOP and reducing crime against students, the biography said.

Mr Hyde is president of the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace and chair of the charity Bullying UK.

In June 2009 he became the deputy chief constable of Cumbria Constabulary.