Chief constable of West Mercia Police announces retirement
The chief constable of West Mercia Police, Anthony Bangham, is to retire in September after a 30-year career in policing.
The announcement follows the news that the chief constables of Warwickshire Police and Staffordshire Police will also be stepping down this year.
Interview panels are also currently taking place for the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, which became vacant after Ian Hopkins stepped down following a highly critical report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services.
Mr Bangham joined West Mercia Police in 1991 as a police constable in Redditch and worked his way through the ranks before taking on the position of chief constable in August 2016.
He said: “I have served as a police officer across West Mercia in many roles and different ranks and have always done so with great pride. I also served in Avon and Somerset Constabulary as an assistant chief constable. It has been an amazing career with every day bringing new challenges and I will leave with happy memories from both forces and some great stories from those 30 years.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside many dedicated, highly-skilled officers and staff in both forces and in particular in my time leading West Mercia over the past five years as chief constable.
“It has been an absolute honour to serve the local communities across the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire. I am delighted to be able to retire and finish my service in my home force. West Mercia is not only where I joined policing, but where I have lived for the majority of my life.
“In the meantime, over the next few months, whilst there is a process to appoint my successor, I will continue to lead the force until the end of my term of office as chief constable in September.
“I want to thank my officers, staff and colleagues, and indeed our local communities, partners and fellow emergency services for their support during my time as chief. I know you will all continue to work together to keep the communities of West Mercia safe.”
West Mercia police and crime commissioner John Campion said: “I would like to thank Anthony on behalf of the communities of West Mercia for his commitment to public service and keeping people safe. Across 30 years as an officer in many different roles, Anthony has always placed the public at the heart of his work.
“As chief constable he has been a determined leader in challenging times. He has taken brave, and sometimes difficult decisions, but his focus has always been the best interests of his police force and the communities they serve, rather than what was easiest or most convenient. He will leave West Mercia in a strong position, with much higher officer numbers and the foundations for a renewed, reinvigorated focus on West Mercia’s communities and how the force can best address their needs for years to come.
“Appointing a new chief constable will be one of the first and most important duties for West Mercia’s police and crime commissioner after the upcoming elections in May. Ensuring the best possible candidate is found and appointed will be vital in ensuring our communities are as safe, happy and prosperous as they can possibly be.”