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PCC calls on the public's help to find new chief

It is believed that no other force has involved the public in the selection process before
Published - 10/07/2015 By - Scott Docherty - Police Oracle

A police and crime commissioner is calling on the public to help him recruit his force's next leader.

West Midlands PCC David Jamieson is inviting people to join one of two panels that will help quiz potential chiefs for one of the biggest forces in the country.

The search is on after incumbent chief Chris Sims announced his retirement after leading the force for six years.

Mr Jamieson is looking to create a citizens panel of around ten people that represent a cross section of the region's make up.

Similarly a youth panel will also be plucked from the 14 youth commissioners from the seven local authorities within the region.

The panel will be consulted on the job description of the next chief and will be consulted on what they think the "qualities, skills and experience" the candidate should possess.

When the prospective candidates attend an assessment day, the panels will be able to pitch questions to each candidate.

A spokesman for the commissioner said that no other force had involved the public in the selection process like this before.

Mr Jamieson said: "Appointing a new chief constable is a big decision and that's why I want to have as much input from the people of the West Midlands as possible.

"There are things that chief constables of every police force must do, whichever force they lead, but I want local people to tell me what special qualities and characteristics they want from the West Midlands' next chief constable.

"We are a large and diverse region and our police force is the second largest in England, it is therefore only correct that I seek as much involvement from the community as possible to make sure that the public have a chief constable who is fully accountable to them as well as myself."

Chief Constable Chris Sims will stand down "early next year" after a 35-year policing career in which he served in the Metropolitan, Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire police forces before moving to the West Midlands in 1999.

The announcement came days after he unveiled their 2020 Blueprint, a report detailing the future "technological transformation" of the force.

He said: "It’s been a fantastic privilege to lead this force through six challenging years. I want to reassure people that I will use the remaining time I have in West Midlands Police to make sure the transition to the next chief constable is as smooth as possible and that we don’t take any break on our journey to being the best force in the country.

“I never deluded myself that with something as big and strategic as the blueprint that I would be around to see the end point."

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