New chief constable appointed for Gloucestershire
9:18am Wednesday 9th January 2013 in News
A NEW chief constable has been appointed for Gloucestershire, subject to a rubber stamping exercise by the Gloucestershire Police and Crime panel.
Suzette Davenport, who is currently Deputy Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, would become the first woman to lead the Gloucestershire force in its 174-year history.
If she is appointed in a public confirmation hearing on Monday, January 14, she would become the fourth top cop in three years to take on the role, from February 1.
The 49-year old was one of four candidates interviewed to head the 2207 strong Constabulary.
A delighted Ms Davenport said: "This is an exciting opportunity for me to work with the new Police and Crime Commissioner at the start of a new era and to deliver first class policing services and help keep the people of Gloucestershire safe.”
As well as her responsibilities in Northamptonshire, Ms Davenport is the national lead for roads policing in England and Wales.
The four candidates for the post were interviewed by a panel led by Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl.
"Balancing public expectations with fewer resources will be our challenge," he said. "We are fortunate that Gloucestershire already has a police service to be proud of but there are many more improvements we can make. I am very much looking forward to working with Suzette to achieve that and to make the county an even better and safer place to live, work and enjoy.”
Among her responsibilities in her current role are performance, risk, reputation, change management and regional operational collaboration.
Originally from North Yorkshire, Ms Davenport started her police service with West Mercia Police and worked in a variety of roles over the next 20 years. After a short spell at the Home Office in 2005, she was appointed Assistant Chief Constable with Staffordshire Police and in May 2007 transferred to the West Midlands, where she led intelligence and neighbourhood policing.
Ms Davenport will be required to attend the meeting of the Gloucestershire Police and Crime panel, known as a ‘confirmatory hearing’, next week. She will answer questions from the panel on professional competence and personal independence. This part of the meeting is held in public.
The panel will then go into closed session to make a decision whether to recommend the appointment, recommend against the appointment or use their power of veto. If the panel vetoes the appointment, the Police and Crime Commissioner cannot appoint the candidate.