North's new police chief named

Leicestershire police chief Matt Baggott was tonight appointed as the new Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Leicestershire police chief Matt Baggott was tonight appointed as the new Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The 50-year-old was the unanimous choice of the Northern Ireland Policing Board’s seven-strong interview panel to take over from outgoing chief Hugh Orde.

He beat off competition from three other shortlisted candidates: Jim Gamble, chief executive of Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre; Durham police chief Jon Stoddart and head of West Mercia police Paul West.

Policing Board chairman Barry Gilligan said he had exactly the credentials they were looking for.

“He has been a champion of policing in the community that goes to the very core of what this policing board is all about,” he said.

Mr Gilligan also commended Mr Baggott’s record in managing a police force on a tight budget.

He is due to take on the £184,000 (€214,000)-a-year post in the autumn.

Mr Baggott said he was thrilled to take on the job.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity to lead the PSNI and serve the community as Chief Constable,” he said.

“The PSNI has come through a significant change programme and I look forward to using my experience to build on the progress to date in the delivery of a professional policing service to all the people of Northern Ireland.”

Orde is leaving the PSNI next month after seven years at the helm. He is taking up the post of president of Britain's Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).

The board’s choice was rubber stamped by the North's Secretary of State Shaun Woodward.

“I am delighted that the Board has reached unanimous agreement on the appointment of Matt Baggott as the new Chief Constable to succeed Sir Hugh Orde,” he said.

The appointment was the first since Sinn Féin agreed to support policing in the North and joined the board.

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