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Interview: Debbie Tedds Warwickshire's new chief

Warwickshire's new chief constable speaks to Police Oracle as she takes over leadership today of a force she has been with for 32 years
Published - 01/07/2021 By - Chloe Livadeas

Debbie Tedds today (1 July) becomes the new Chief Constable for Warwickshire Police.

She takes over from outgoing Chief Constable Martin Jelley who retired yesterday (Wednesday, June 30) after six years leading the force.

When CC Tedds joined Warwickshire in 1989 she was the only female on the shift, and remembers being issued with a truncheon small enough to fit in the force-issued handbag.

She was a constable for 13 years before she put herself forward for promotion and was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 2002, then worked up the ranks and was appointed as the force’s Temporary Deputy Chief Constable this year.

In the last 12 months, Warwickshire's intake of female officers have been around 45 per cent through the Uplift.

“I’m not keen to pigeonhole about gender,” she told Police Oracle “I think it's far wider than that. I'm really proud to be the first female chief in the force’s 164 year history. But actually I'm here to champion diversity of the wider spectrum and the importance of representation across our workforce, and how we value each other.

"One of the things that is I consider myself to be is an authentic leader. And that's one of the things that I really value. And that's what's important to me, rather than just concentrating on gender,” she added.

CC Tedds been with the same force for 32 years. “I understand Warwickshire, I'm very passionate about the county and about policing within it. I know the partners, I’m very well networked across here," she says.

She’s also taken over from Mr Jelley as the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Vetting, what she calls a “busier portfolio than I probably anticipated”.

The force ended its alliance with West Mercia in October 2019 and is still sharing IT and Transactional services with them. The Organised Crime Unit and Counterterrorism Unit is a regional alliance with Staffordshire, West Mercia and West Midlands, and Warwickshire shares forensic services with West Midlands.

“We're still transitioning out, and I’ve got every confidence that we will do that and continue to strive forward around that,” she said.

“There is still a need to recognise regional and national capabilities and how we deliver those. But actually I think I think bigger is not always best. We are able to provide local, tailored services to our communities. And I think that's important."

She said officer morale was one of her priorities.

“We have a small force, we have short lines of communication and we were able to communicate directly with our workforce. And that's something that I think is really important. I’ve spent today communicating with our workforce, and telling them how proud I am to lead them. It’s a great voice and we should aspire to be to be outstanding.”

CC Tedds personally contacts every officer who has been assaulted and provides impact statements in every case.

Not every officer in Warwickshire who wants a Taser gets one, but the chief says they make sure that they've got “sufficient capability at any one time” across the county.

CC Tedds has a social media presence and said one of her priotities is around “that wider engagement and visibility”.

“The public need to see and understand what their police force is about.”

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