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Police Commissioner Begins Search for New Chief Constable

Published on: 7 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 8 Nov, 2022

Chief Constable Gavin Stephens due to depart Surrey Police in the spring.

Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend has today begun her search for a new Chief Constable for Surrey Police.

She has opened the recruitment process to find a successor to Gavin Stephens who announced last week he was set to leave after successfully being elected as the next head of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

He is due take up his new post in the spring of next year and will remain as Surrey’s Chief Constable until that point.

See: Surrey’s Chief Constable Gavin Stephens Set to Leave Force

The commissioner says she will now undertake a thorough selection process to find an outstanding candidate who can lead the Force into an exciting new chapter.

The full details of the role and how to apply can be found here.

PCC Lisa Townsend Photo Darren Pepe.

She has convened a selection board that will be made up of people with expertise in policing and public affairs to help with the process.

The closing date for applications is December 2 and the interview process will be held early in the New Year.

Lisa Townsend said: “As police and crime commissioner, appointing a Chief Constable is one of the most important responsibilities of my role and I am privileged to lead this process on behalf of the people of our county.

“I am determined to find an exceptional leader who will focus their talents on making Surrey Police the outstanding service that our communities expect and deserve.

“The next chief constable will need to deliver against the priorities set out in my Police and Crime Plan and help strengthen those relationships between our police teams and local communities.”

“They will need to strike the right balance in tackling key issues such as improving our current detection rates with ensuring we provide that visible police presence we know our residents want to see. This must be achieved at a time when policing budgets need to be finely balanced during the current cost of living crisis.”

The last police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy (PEEL) inspection of Surrey Police, for 2021-22, marked crime prevention as “outstanding” but said the management of offenders and suspects required improvement. The other six areas examined were graded “good” or “adequate”.

Summary of PEEL inspection findings for the period 2021-2.

The gradings were similar to the neighbouring force of Thames Valley but better than the grades given to Kent Police which had three areas requiring improvement. The 2021-2 gradings for Hampshire and Sussex are not yet available.

The police commissioner continued: “I am looking for an innovative and straight-talking leader whose passion for public service can inspire those around them to help create a police force we can all be proud of.”

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