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Warwickshire brings female Chief Constable tally to eleven

Two records are about to be set with the appointment of a female Chief Constable for Warwickshire.
Published - 01/06/2021 By - Chris Smith

The force’s Police and Crime commissioner announced Debbie Tedds as his preferred choice to lead the force. She is currently Temporary Deputy Chief Constable with Warwickshire.

Subject to crime panel confirmation, Ms Tedds will replace Martin Jelley who is retiring at the end of the month.

She will be the first female Chief Constable in the force’s 164-year history and brings the number of female Chiefs up to ten, which is the highest number of female chiefs in the service's history.

Her confirmation is expected to be signed off at a meeting next week. Among the recruitment panellists were the County Council Chief executive and Chief Constable Stephen Watson of Greater Manchester.

The other female Chiefs are:

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

She inherits a force that was rated ‘good’ by HM Inspectorate for tackling crime and treating people. But it was rated as requiring improvement on efficiently and sustainably.

Since then, the force has ended the back office alliance with West Mercia Police and signed new contracts with West Midlands in February covering functions including forensics.

Ms Tedds grew up locally and joined the force in March 1989. She served in a variety of roles, predominantly within the Investigations departments. 

She was the first female Warwickshire officer to achieve the rank of Detective Inspector working within Reactive CID, Proactive CID, Intelligence and setting up the Protecting Vulnerable Persons unit.

She also introduced Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences into Warwickshire before being promoted to Superintendent in 2009 to head up the then Judicial Services Department.

Ms Tedds was seconded to Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Constabulary in 2011 as a Specialist Staff Officer leading on Vulnerability focusing on Child Protection. 

Following this role she returned to Warwickshire Police and was appointed as the Policing Area Commander for South Warwickshire. 

She was then promoted in 2015 as Chief Superintendent and performed roles across the alliance with West Mercia Police heading up the Assurance and Service Improvement function.

PCC Philip Seccombe said: “She has experience at every level within the force and, as the first female Chief Constable, this will be an appointment of historic significance.”

He added: “She has demonstrated clear and strategic leadership abilities during the selection process and throughout her career, combined with a calm and friendly approach which will continue to be a great asset to Warwickshire.”

“I am very confident that, if the Police and Crime Panel are supportive of the conclusions from this selection process, in Debbie we will have absolutely the right person to continue the excellent progress that has been made.”

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