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Warwickshire joins hunt for a new Chief Constable

Warwickshire is joining the hunt for a new Chief Constable making it the fifth force to lose its leader. Martin Jelly is standing down early.
Published - 11/02/2021 By - Chris Smith

Warwickshire is beginning its search for a new Chief Constable earlier than expected.

Martin Jelley has announced his retirement in June from the force after six years at the top and 33 years in policing.

CC Jelley said: “It has been my absolute privilege and pleasure to serve as Chief Constable these last six years.

“I am very proud of the force, in particular the, men and women who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe, their courage, professionalism and commitment, working often in very challenging circumstances has humbled me on many occasions.”

The surprise announcement came just over a year after he extended his contract until March 2022.

It adds another big role for high fliers with recruitment boards currently looking for a new Chief Executive for the College of Policing and Chief Constable posts in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire.

He has faced significant challenges during his time in charge not least ending the alliance with West Mercia Police which ended with Warwickshire being paid more than £10m.

And in March last year the force revealed its recruitment programme had lifted total head count by over 14%.

In its last PEEL inspection, the force was rated good for reducing crime and how it treats people. But it was told work to operate efficiently required improvement.

The force’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe, paid a warm tribute: “Martin has been a brilliant Chief Constable for Warwickshire Police, guiding the force steadfastly through one of the most significant periods of change in its 164-year history.

“The end of the alliance with West Mercia Police produced many challenges and immense pressures but, in Martin, the force and I were very fortunate to have a true leader to guide us to the strengthened position we enjoy today.

He added: “Throughout his time in Warwickshire he has always acted with integrity and compassion and had the very best interests of our communities at heart.

"He has also been a passionate champion of wellbeing among the force’s officers, staff and volunteers and never more has this been more needed than during the current coronavirus pandemic.”

CC Jelley gave no indication about his future plans: “Having worked with great people and partner organisations in four forces over 33 years I can say I have loved all the various roles I have had the opportunity to undertake and if I was starting over, aged 21 I would not hesitate to become a police officer again.

"As to the future I look forward to finding new challenges after I step down in June.”

Frontline officers showed their support for him.

Warwickshire Police Federation Chair Simon Paine shared on social media: “A brilliant Chief Constable.”

A former officer added: “A truly inspirational leader and will be sorely missed.”

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