Gloucestershire's new chief constable keen to increase volunteer officers
GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S new chief constable says one of her aims is to increase the number of volunteer officers in the county.
Suzette Davenport has set precedents by becoming the first female chief constable in the force's 174-year history and the first to be appointed by a police and crime commissioner (PCC).
The 49-year-old, who is currently the deputy chief constable of Northamptonshire Police, will start her new role on February 1, and she says one of her targets is to sign up more volunteers.
She said: "In Gloucestershire there are 150 special constables, whereas Northamptonshire has 400.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"We have to work really hard to increase the numbers and to have a proper strategy for how we will bring them in and engage with them and make them supportive, and also make them proactive and engaged in a number of activities."
Ms Davenport was one of four candidates interviewed for the £130,000-a-year role, and takes over after a period of instability at the top of the force.
Current chief constable Mick Matthews decided to step down after less than six months in office, and his predecessor Tony Melville was at the helm for just under two-and-a-half years.
Ms Davenport said: "The force does need some stability. I'm definitely here to stay until the end of my police service. I'm here for the long haul."
Commenting on the challenges facing police, Ms Davenport said public confidence has to be restored following recent national scandals such as the situation surrounding the resignation of Andrew Mitchell as Government chief whip.
"Integrity issues continue to challenge us, whether that's Plebgate or the Leveson Inquiry. We have to put the public at the forefront of everything we do," she said.
Ms Davenport said she was prepared for the challenge of policing the county under increasing financial constraints,
"We have to concentrate on what we have got and focus on using that to deliver the best outcomes," she said.
Ms Davenport said she is looking forward to working with Gloucestershire's PCC, Martin Surl.
She said: "We will work really closely together and understand the challenges we both have. We will provide joint leadership to the people of Gloucestershire."
Originally from North Yorkshire, Ms Davenport started her police service with West Mercia Police and worked in a variety of roles over the following 20 years.
After a short spell at the Home Office in 2005, she was appointed assistant chief constable with Staffordshire Police, and in May 2007 transferred to the West Midlands, where she led intelligence and neighbourhood policing.
As well as her responsibilities in Northamptonshire, Ms Davenport is the national lead for roads policing in England and Wales.
For eight years, she was vice president of the British Association for Women in Policing.