Three in running for top job at South Yorkshire Police as Chief Constable moves on

Interviews are to be carried out tomorrow to find South Yorkshire Police’s new Chief Constable.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 12:57 pm

Applicants have been shortlisted and there are now three in the running for the top job.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings will have the final say in appointing a successor for outgoing Chief Constable Stephen Watson, who is joining Greater Manchester Police.

Deputy Chief Constable Lauren Poultney has been appointed as Temporary Chief Constable until the role is filled.

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Chief Constable Stephen Watson has left South Yorkshire Police to join Greater Manchester Police

Dr Billings, who oversees the way South Yorkshire Police is run, funded and performs, said he is pleased with the progress South Yorkshire Police made under the leadership of Mr Watson, with the force now ranked as one of the top performing in the country.

“Stephen Watson had a really big challenge and it was one of rescue and recovery – getting South Yorkshire Police out of a very bad place it had got itself into,” he said.

“He did that and the challenge for the new Chief Constable is not one of recovery but maintaining momentum, keeping up good practice and encouraging and motivating people to improve – there must not be any complacency.

“There are ways of achieving ‘outstanding’ by focusing on what inspectors want you to, but we must not lose sight of other things we are not inspected on. We must not fall into that trap. I want us to make good progress but not at the expense of missing other things.”

Dr Billings said he expects the new Chief Constable to look at the force’s operating model and its workforce mix to ensure it is representative.

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