Four candidates vie to be Wiltshire's next chief constable

Wiltshire Times: Patrick Geenty Patrick Geenty

FOUR candidates will be interviewed for the post of Wiltshire Chief Constable.

The interviews take place on Monday and the successful candidate is expected to be announced the following day by Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson.

It is known that Patrick Geenty, Wiltshire’s acting chief constable, is one of the candidates. He has been acting chief since March last year.

Mr Macpherson decided after he was elected Commissioner in November to appoint a substantive chief constable.

The other candidates include a woman officer and an officer who formerly served with Wiltshire Police.

At a meeting of the Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel held this morning at Devizes Corn Exchange some concern was expressed that only four people had applied for the Chief Constable post.

Wiltshire councillor Mike Hewitt said: “I am very disappointed we have only had four people applying. Is that because we are so small or people didn’t recognise it was a major job?”

Kieran Kilgallen, chief executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and former chief executive of Wiltshire Police Authority, said: “Neither. It’s the most applicants we have received for the post in the past ten years. You might expect five or six applicants for a larger force.

“We know the number of candidates for the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was very small.”

He said the criteria for applicants for Chief Constable jobs had been widened by the Government to include Assistant Chief Constables, previously it was just Deputy Chief Constables.

Panel member Brian Ford, a Swindon borough councillor, said: “There are about 20 odd vacancies for Chief Constables across the country so I’m not surprised at the number of candidates for Wiltshire. In fact I’m pleasantly surprised we have got four candidates.”

Mr Macpherson will be among a panel of five interviewing the candidates. The other panel members are an independent person, a representative of the voluntary sector and the leaders of Wiltshire Council, Jane Scott, and Swindon Borough Council, Rod Bluh.

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