Sussex chief constable candidates face final interviews

The four shortlisted candidates vying to become the next chief constable of Sussex Police have today (June 1) appeared before their final interview panels, with police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne set to announce her ‘preferred’ choice tomorrow.

Jun 1, 2020
By Tony Thompson

The preferred candidate will be subject to a confirmation hearing to be held in public by the Sussex police and crime panel.

Ms Bourne took to Twitter ahead of the interviews, describing all the candidates as “extremely impressive, capable individuals”.  Among those joining her on the panel will be Lynne Owens, Director-General of the National Crime Agency.

Current Sussex Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner is believed to be among the contenders and, if appointed, would be the force’s first female chief constable.

The current deputy chief constable at Surrey Police, Nev Kemp, is also in the running. He has strong links to the force having previously served as divisional commander of Brighton and Hove.

Metropolitan Police Service Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor is another strong candidate with local links. Prior to moving to London two years ago, he was an assistant chief constable at Sussex Police and previously served as a chief inspector in Brighton and Hove.

The final candidate is believed to be former the deputy chief constable Bernie O’Reilly, currently attached to the College of Policing.

The successful candidate will take over from Giles York, who retires as chief constable at the end of July after six years in the post. He was previously deputy chief constable at Sussex Police.

The new chief constable will have a five-year fixed-term contract. There had been a possibility that an interim chief constable would be appointed because of the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Councillor Bill Bentley, who chairs the police and crime panel, said that he was pleased to learn that Sussex Police would have a “substantive” chief constable rather than an interim one.

“It’s really important right now that we have somebody who is a known face who people can have confidence in during this crisis,” he said.

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