First female MDP deputy chief constable appointed

Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) has confirmed the appointment of Melanie Dales as the first female deputy chief constable in the force’s 50-year history.

May 6, 2022
By Paul Jacques
Deputy Chief Constable Melanie Dales

She joined MDP in February this year as assistant chief constable, Nuclear and Marine, having spent two years as a commander in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Ms Dales said: “I am proud to take up post as the first female deputy chief constable of the MDP, based in the new headquarters in Cambridgeshire, which is the county where I began and have spent most of my policing career.

“Since joining the MDP, I have learnt so much about the unique capabilities of the force and our role in contributing to the Defence Plan and Defence Tasks.

“I’ve also met some really great people, and I look forward to getting out and meeting more colleagues throughout the UK during the coming months.”

She added: “Following the MDP’s 50th anniversary celebrations last year and as we work through the transition to the force’s new HQ and training centre this year, I’m excited to take on the challenge of driving forward opportunities for positive change and modernisation.”

Chief Constable Andy Adams said he was “very pleased” to welcome Ms Dales as his new deputy.

“Mel is an exceptional leader and a fantastic role model, with a wealth of operational and strategic experience that I know the MDP will continue to benefit from, as we further develop our Force in support of Defence.”

Ms Dales took up her post this week, and will have responsibility for overseeing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Force. MDP said this includes responsibility for governance of the chief officer work programme and strategic priorities, performance, assurance and compliance, programmes and projects, and professional standards.

At the MPS, Ms Dales held strategic leadership for public protection across London, including responsibilities on domestic abuse, rape and serious sexual offences, vulnerable adults, hate crime, missing persons, and mental health.

Prviously, she was chief superintendent for Joint Protective Services for the Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire forces, providing strategic governance and financial oversight, and managing operational delivery of all specialist services for the three forces. This included provision of armed police officers, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) capability, roads policing, public order provision and civil contingencies. She also held regional project leadership for the restructure of the national Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) programme.

Ms Dales began her policing service with Cambridgeshire Constabulary, where she spent most of her career, operating in roles that included the Seven Force Strategic Collaboration Programme lead; force crime manager; divisional commander for Peterborough; corporate development at the ranks of chief superintendent and superintendent; and as a senior investigating officer on major inquiries.

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