Police chief welcomes police and crime commissioner

The chief constable of Lincolnshire Police has welcomed the election of Alan Hardwick as the county’s first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Neil Rhodes praised the new incumbent of the post for his committed attitude to the role, which has replaced the old Police Authority, and his obvious desire to do the best for the force in this county.

He said: “He is committed to maintaining a strong front line of uniformed police officers on our streets and we share these objectives wholeheartedly.”

Independent candidate Mr Hardwick, who formerly worked for the Police Authority, was elected last week following the second round of the vote, which came down to a competition between David Bowles, of the Stop Politicians Running Policing campaign, and himself.

The main thrust of his campaign was putting pressure on the Government to do more to help police forces in rural parts of the country.

Mr Rhodes said he was firmly committed to working with Mr Hardwick to continue to drive down costs and encourage a fair and sensible funding package from Parliament.

He added: “Lincolnshire Police is a force that is currently performing strongly with crime well down and one of the best anti-social behaviour reductions in the country. Our real challenge is finance.

“So there is much work to do. Policing in Lincolnshire is delivered already at the lowest cost per head of population in the country and we face further cuts. My priority is to work with the commissioner to secure the best financial package to stabilise officer numbers on the streets of the county.

“When the commissioner steps through the front door on his first day he can look forward to a real welcome and full cooperation from the chief officers of the force,” said Mr Rhodes.

“Backed by the electoral mandate, I know we will be held firmly to account for performance and service delivery and that he will be both challenging and intrusive. We believe that we can also look forward to support in equal measure.”