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North Wales new chief constable appointment ‘open transparent and rigorous’

THE POLICE and crime commissioner says the process to recruit North Wales’ new chief constable was ‘open, transparent, and rigorous’.

The North Wales Police and Crime Panel will meet on Monday at Conwy’s Bodlondeb council offices where Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin will present a report detailing the appointment process of the new chief constable.

The panel is set to confirm the appointment of Amanda Blakeman as the new chief constable, following current chief Carl Foulkes announcing in May he would be retiring this October.

According to the report, Amanda Blakeman was made the preferred candidate after ‘a considerable and long-standing career of over 30 years in policing’ with a ‘proven operational and strategic background in West Mercia and Gwent Police’.

The report also said she provided a wealth of examples of delivering leadership of operational projects and collaborations, both in the application form and at the interview.

The report also stated that Ms Blakeman demonstrated an unquestionable ability to not only lead North Wales Police but to deliver improvements to policing the region.

In a letter to the panel’s chair John Williams, Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin says the process to appoint the new chief was ‘open, transparent, and rigorous’.

The role was advertised between 20 June 2022 and 11 July 2022 on a fixed term of up to five years on a salary of between £149,913 and £164,904, depending on experience.

On the panel to appoint the new chief was Andy Dunbobbin, Police and Crime Commissioner; Gill Lewis, Independent Member;Dr Richard Lewis, Chief Constable Dyfed Powys Police; Nazir Afzal, Advisor to Welsh Government; Rachel Barber, Chair Joint Audit Committee; and Stephen Hughes, Monitoring Officer.

The advertisement featured on the National Police Chiefs’ Council website, Police and Crime Commissioner’s website, College of Policing website, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ website, and was distributed through social media and press releases.

The job was also circulated on email to His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service as well as the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Chief Executives.

The panel says it received three expressions of interest for the chief constable role but added that the low number of applications was not unusual.

The report stated:

“Receiving a low number of applications is not unusual as the pool of potential applicants is extremely small. The College of Policing’s recent ‘Chief Officer Appointments Surveys Results and Analysis Report’ showed that forces (who responded to the survey) usually receive small number of applications.”

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