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Norfolk opts for homegrown experience as new chief selected

Norfolk has confirmed its temporary Chief as the force?s new leader.
Published - 16/11/2021 By - Chris Smith

Paul Sanford has been announced as the preferred candidate to lead the force by Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk Giles Orpen-Smellie.

CC Sanford has been the Temporary Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary since Simon Bailey retired from the force at the end of June.

The decision brings to an end the exhaustive search to find a successor to Simon Bailey that began in the summer.

The PCC re-opened applications last month for the £153,282-a-year post after deciding the pool of applicants was not strong enough to be meaningful.

Both the College of Policing and HMI have raised concerns over the lack of potential candidates for senior posts in forces due to retirements, moving costs and the tradition of panels choosing established candidates.

But Mr Orpen-Smellie said: “Whilst the decision must be reviewed by the Police and Crime Panel, I am confident that I have been able to recommend a strong candidate and the right person to lead Norfolk Constabulary into the future.

“Paul has had an extensive career with Norfolk Constabulary, having started in policing here in 1999. He has led the force in the temporary role since July and brings extensive experience of working across the county.”

The PCC said: “I am confident that I am recommending a candidate who will lead Norfolk Constabulary with energy and vision.”

He has served in Norfolk Constabulary since joining the Service in 1999 and held uniform and detective roles in all ranks from Constable to Superintendent. 

In 2008, he became District Commander for South Norfolk, District Commander in Norwich and Head of CID. He is an experienced firearms and public order commander and has also been the Senior Investigating Officer on a number of significant criminal investigations.

He spent three years coordinating the activity of the National Police Chief's Council Violence and Public Protection Portfolio.  During this period, he was the Police lead for the implementation and rollout of the national Child Abuse Image Database (CAID).

In April 2017, Mr Sanford was appointed as Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing in Norfolk Police and in 2019 was appointed Deputy Chief Constable.

Norfolk's PCC added: “This has been a difficult year for policing and there are important challenges ahead, not least rebuilding the trust in policing that has been impacted by some of the terrible events of this year.”

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