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Serena Kennedy confirmed as Merseyside Police?s first female Chief

Police and Crime Panel confirm outgoing PCC?s preferred candidate
Published - 19/03/2021 By - Gary Mason

Serena Kennedy will be Merseyside Police’s first female Chief Constable after her selection by the Police and Crime Commissioner was confirmed by the region’s Police and Crime Panel.

She will take over the £172,000 pa role when the current Chief Constable, Andy Cooke QPM, leaves in April to join HMICFRS. Part of his role will be to inspect his former force.

The appointment also means there are now 10 female chief constables in England and Wales.

The other nine are:

  • Dame Cressida Dick, Met Commissioner
  • Michelle Skeer, Cumbria
  • Lucy D'orsi, BTP
  • Jo Farrell, Durham
  • Rachel Swann, Derbyshire
  • Pam Kelly, Gwent
  • Jo Shiner, Sussex
  • Olivia Pinkney, Hampshire
  • Lisa Winward, North Yorkshire

DCC Kennedy was the preferred candidate of PCC Jane Kennedy and that decision was referred to the Police and Crime Panel, who considered the appointment at a virtual confirmation hearing.

The hearing, which was live-streamed to enable members of the public to observe, gave Panel members the opportunity to review the recruitment and selection process, assess the supporting documents and interview DCC Kennedy.

The Panel, which is made up of elected and independent members from across Merseyside, had the power to either ratify or veto the Commissioner’s proposed candidate.

Commenting on the Panel’s endorsement,  PCC Jane Kennedy said: “Serena joined Merseyside Police in 2017 and throughout her time as both Assistant and Deputy Chief Constable, she has demonstrated clear strategic leadership, the highest standards of professionalism and her commitment to Merseyside Police. These are qualities which were clearly evident during the interview process and impressed both myself and the entire interview panel, which was made up of highly respected leaders across the fields of policing, politics, local government and health.

“Serena has exceptional experience of policing, is very well respected in the policing community and already holds a number of significant national roles. She has shown the vision, ethics and leadership qualities needed to ensure that Merseyside Police remains the best performing urban force in the country, ensuring it will continue to deliver the high quality of policing that people here on Merseyside expect and deserve.

“I look forward to working with Serena to deliver my police and crime priorities for the region for the short time we will both be in post before I step down in May. Her appointment ensures there will be a smooth transition when Andy Cooke leaves Merseyside Police, giving the Force the stability and directions it needs and ensuring it is in the best possible position to go forward with a new Police and Crime Commissioner.”

During the assessment, the candidates were interviewed and required to give a presentation to the panel which comprised the Police Commissioner, the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and former Chair of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Dame Sara Thornton, the former Chief Executive of the College of Policing and HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham, the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, St Helens Council’s Chief Executive Kath O’Dwyer and the Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Professor David Lalloo.

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