Wish you were here! Suspended police chief travelled the wor Sept 2, 2013 19:32:15 GMT
Post by Focus on Sept 2, 2013 19:32:15 GMT
A senior police chief spent a year touring holiday destinations while suspended on full pay from his £131,000-a-year job.
Stuart Hyde, 53, racked up thousands of miles indulging his passion for walking and sightseeing – all while a misconduct inquiry was carried out.
The temporary chief constable of Cumbria visited idyllic French villages as well as Andorra, the Isle of Man, and beauty spots all over the North of England.
Visits : Stuart Hyde, 53, racked up thousands of miles indulging his passion for walking and sightseeing - all while a misconduct inquiry was carried out. Here he is pictured at Haystacks in the Lake District
His grand tour took place as detectives from an outside force undertook a meticulous investigation into a raft of damaging claims against him.
They found Mr Hyde failed to record gifts and hospitality, abused an air miles scheme, misused his official credit card and neglected his duties.
But today he was welcomed back to his force as deputy chief constable after the new chief ruled he should receive only ‘advice’ over his actions.
Mr Hyde is now responsible for ‘strategic IT developments’ and will remain in post until he retires on December 31.
He will then – thanks to his gold-plated final salary pension –collect up to £80,000 a year, depending on the size of any lump sum he takes.
Speaking tonight, MPs reacted with disbelief to a decision which caps a shameful saga that leaves taxpayers saddled with a bill of up to £500,000.
Inquiry : The temporary chief constable of Cumbria visited idyllic French villages as well as Andorra, the Isle of Man, and beauty spots all over the North of England
John Woodcock, a Labour MP who represents Barrow and Furness, said: ‘After a year of dithering over the investigation, officers still haven’t come back with a clear case and so Stuart Hyde is allowed effectively to come back in and then retire,’ he said.
‘At a time when numbers on the front line are reducing, we are pouring money into this pit of mismanagement.’
Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said: ‘It has been an appalling waste of money and must have diverted the police from their priorities, however much they tried not to.’
Mr Hyde was suspended from duty in September 2012 when Cumbria Police Authority was passed a dossier of evidence questioning his behavior.
The officer, who had just returned from a trip to Washington DC, was accused of serious misconduct, including corruption. But while the inquiry ground on, Mr Hyde charted his travels on his personal website.
Teamwork : Pictured centre, his grand tour took place as detectives from an outside force undertook a meticulous investigation into a raft of damaging claims against him
In August he posted pictures from Andorra and from the villages of Saint Papoul and Lastours in the South of France.
In June, he wen to the Isle of Man and in April posted pictures from Mont Noir, on the Franco-Belgian border. Closer to home he toured beauty spots across Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales.
Mr Hyde had already posted pictures of him swimming and riding up Mount Ventoux in Provence, which features in a stage of the Tour de France.
In one, the heavily-built policeman wore a T-shirt declaring he is a ‘pie-eating man mountain’.
The inquiry by South Wales Police, which took place as another chief was brought in from Merseyside to replace him, concluded that there was no evidence of misconduct.
But it found that Mr Hyde should be given ‘appropriate advice’ on a dozen issues from his use of Twitter to his failure to provide receipts for spending on an official credit card.
Photographs : Mr Hyde had already posted pictures of him swimming and riding up Mount Ventoux in Provence, which features in a stage of the Tour de France
Investigators highlighted how trips outside Cumbria, including to overseas events, accounted for nearly a quarter of his time over a nine-month period.
They said the acting chief had an ‘unconventional and unprofessional’ approach to business and did not record some gifts and hospitality.
Investigators also found Mr Hyde used air miles accrued through his work to pay for flights to Tunisia, a clear breach of guidelines.
Cumbria’s new acting chief constable Bernard Lawson said his colleague’s behavior ‘fell short’ of that required by a senior public servant.
But he said he could still return to work ‘under a detailed plan to ensure lessons are learnt’.
Mr Hyde said he had ‘always worked hard for the people of Cumbria’ and that his suspension has been a ‘difficult time’. He said: ‘I recognize fully the need to improve the way I manage myself and my accountability.
‘I look forward to the opportunity to rebuild relationships and develop an innovative technology strategy for the force.’
And they say 'crime don't pay' - this t..t looks as though he's having the time of his life, regardless of the fact that he is currently suspended (on full pay may I add) from his job as a police chief for fiddling his expenses (being a police chief he should have known bloody well better) among other things, (if this had been you or I we would be taking a holiday alright, courtesy of HMPS) and who may I ask will be footing the bill for his 'full pay' break ... you guessed it, you and I, the taxpayer!! - Fx