South Yorkshire Police set to appoint first female chief constable

South Yorkshire Police is set to appoint the first female chief constable in the force’s 47-year history.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 4:27 pm

Lauren Poultney has been announced by South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings as his ‘preferred candidate’ to take the top job.

Ms Poultney was chosen following a two-day selection process and her appointment remains subject to scrutiny by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, which will meet on Monday, June 11.

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Lauren Poultney is set to be appointed South Yorkshire Police's new chief constable, subject to final approval by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel
Lauren Poultney is set to be appointed South Yorkshire Police's new chief constable, subject to final approval by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel

She had only been appointed as deputy chief constable in April and took on the role of temporary chief constable last week after Stephen Watson left for Greater Manchester Police.

She has served as a police officer for 23 years, during which time she has undertaken both uniformed and detective roles in a range of areas, including neighbourhood policing, major crime and protecting vulnerable people.

The mother-of-one, who has two dogs, joined South Yorkshire Police as an assistant chief constable in 2017.

Dr Billings said: “The assessment process was rigorous and demanding and Lauren demonstrated that she had the skills and experience we need. She particularly understands what is needed to take South Yorkshire Police forward in the next stage of its journey to being an outstanding force across all areas.

“She understands that the task now is not to rescue a poorly performing force but to further improve a force that is performing well.”

Ms Poultney said: “South Yorkshire Police has undertaken a huge transformation to become the force it is today and I am confident it has the potential to progress further with the clear plan we have set out.

"We remain committed to becoming an ‘outstanding’ police force in all areas, and having witnessed the calibre of its people, I firmly believe the force has what it takes.

“Our communities have the right to expect the highest standard of service from the police not only in their hour of need, but in preventing harm. If granted the role by the Police and Crime Panel, I would be honoured to lead the force through the final steps required to deliver on this aim.”

The new chief constable will have a five-year contract until 2026.