New Chief Constable Nick Gargan sets out targets
THE new Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset police has vowed to push on with slashing crime in Bristol.
Nick Gargan's appointment was approved by the regional Police and Crime Panel at a meeting in Clevedon yesterday afternoon. The chief of the National Policing Improvement Agency will take over from Colin Port, who has led the constabulary for eight years and is retiring when his contract expires on January 26.
Mr Gargan has signed a five-year contract, on a starting salary of more than £148,000 per year, and will take the helm on March 1.
The 46-year-old was selected ahead of three other candidates by Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens on Friday.
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
Yesterday, he was presented to the PCP at North Somerset Council's Castlewood offices. Made up of 15 councillors from the local authorities in the region plus three independent members, it scrutinises the commissioner's major decisions and had the power to veto Mr Gargan's appointment with a two-thirds vote. But, after he confidently answered a series of questions from them, members gave him their unanimous approval.
Afterwards Mr Gargan told The Post: "It's just a huge honour and a huge privilege to be able to lead such a terrific police force."
Admitting he will have to learn the particular characteristics of Bristol, he promised to tackle its issues, such as organised drug crime, with "energy and determination". Recorded crime in the city is at the lowest levels since detailed records started during the 1980s.
Mr Gargan is not fazed by the Government's funding cuts for constabularies that have resulted in the number of officers in the force falling from 3,400 to less than 3,000.
"We will have to find ways of making sure we continue to make progress while preserving the front line," he said.
His priorities include increasing detection rates for crimes such as burglary, theft, sexual assault, anti-social behaviour and violence.
"We should focus our attention where it will have the greatest impact," he told the panel. "I am ambitious and optimistic about what we will be able to achieve."
Ms Mountstevens, who replaced the former police authority in holding the constabulary to account, was "delighted" to have the candidate she believes is the best for the job.
"We had four outstanding candidates, who were all well-qualified to lead the force, but there was a unanimous decision on the interviewing panel for Nick, as there was among the members of the crime panel today. The important thing is that the residents of Avon and Somerset have a leader that will take the job on during, and beyond, my tenure as commissioner."
Current Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley will be acting chief after Mr Port retires.
Watch the full interview with the new Chief Constable as he talks to our crime correspondent Daniel Evans.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens told ThisisBristol that Nick Gargan was the right man for the right job and she was looking forward to working with him