A reference to a Cumbrian music festival by former temporary chief constable Stuart Hyde was queried by police probing allegations of misconduct against him.
A report by South Wales Police asks why Mr Hyde would use ‘unprofessional’ terminology and become involved in such a conversation on micro-blogging site Twitter in the first place.
The force’s report, released this afternoon by county crime commissioner Richard Rhodes, says that an unnamed detective constable highlighted the “specific communication” between Mr Hyde and one of his followers.
In the message, he challenged the tweet ‘@CC_StuartHyde @Cumbriapolice Surely organisers of a music festival could have come up with a better hashtag than #Cockfest ?’ by saying “it’s also called #cockrock’.”
The report concludes that while Mr Hyde appeared to be promoting local products and businesses in some of his tweets, which may be deemed to be discreditable conduct, no evidence of misconduct was found in relation to breaching force polices on the use of social media.
Mr Hyde was taken off duty as temporary chief constable and remained suspended for 12 months but the investigation by South Wales Police found no evidence of misconduct.
Mr Rhodes, however, said there was a case to answer but the matter was taken out of his hands when Mr Hyde’s temporary chief constable contract came to an end.
Current temporary chief constable Bernard Lawson’s lifted the suspension and Mr Hyde returned to work on September 9 as deputy chief constable.
He is to retire at the end of the year – five months ahead of his contract as deputy expiring in May. Because he is on a final salary pension arrangement, his pension will be paid on the basis of his salary as chief constable, £130,000 a year.
Weblink: The South Wales Police report (redacted version released by Richard Rhodes)
The allegations and findings of the South Wales report:
Spending an unreasonable amount of time outside the Cumbria Constabulary area, including making a number of business trips abroad
and periods of absence at times of important operational and corporate need – “Allegation (a)”
No evidence of Misconduct was discovered in respect of Allegation (a).
Conducting a high volume of meetings with contractors and external companies, including providing preferential treatment to business partners, encouraging the involvement of specific contractors in Cumbria Constabulary projects and failing to disclose meals and entertainment received in the Gifts and Hospitality Register – “Allegation (b)”
No evidence of Misconduct was discovered in respect of Allegation (b).
Displaying questionable judgement whilst on duty, including attendance at political events and the manner of entertaining business visitors – “Allegation (c)”
No evidence of Misconduct was discovered in respect of Allegation (c).
Encouraging patronage of a specific hotel due to the proximity to his home address and in return for accrued benefits from the owner; – “Allegation (d)”
No evidence of Misconduct was discovered in respect of Allegation (d).
Breach of force policies, such as use of social media and the corporate credit card – “Allegation (e)”
No evidence of Misconduct was discovered in respect of Allegation (e).