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Dorset recruits equality champion as new assistant chief constable

One of the country’s leading equality officers has been appointed as an Assistant Chief Constable by Dorset Police. Sam de Reya will lead operations for the force.

Dorset Police confirmed her promotion and transfer from Devon and Cornwall Police where she is a Chief Superintendent. The appointment followed a selection process headed by Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell and Deputy Chief Constable David Lewis.

She joined Devon and Cornwall Police in 1999 on transfer from Northumbria Police where she started her career. Before transferring she had developed her career as a detective and tutor.

Since then she has become a significant figure in the region; this was reflected in a recent media poll which recognised her as one of the most influential women in Devon.

Her most recent role was as Commander for North, East and West Devon at Devon and Cornwall Constabulary leading frontline policing services, investigation, neighbourhood policing and partnerships. 

Her duties with Devon and Cornwall have included area commander, crime investigation manager, Public Protection Unit supervisor, head of the Professional Standards Department and lead for a major force-wide IT change programme. 

As part of her work as Devon and Cornwall’s lead for the police Code of Ethics, she became vice-chair of the force’s Ethics Committee and remains co-chair of the South West Regional Police Ethics Network. She completed the national Police Strategic Command Course in March 2020 and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

But it is her work as an equality champion that is her biggest area of interest.

As a senior female police officer and former gender representative of the Police Superintendents’ Association, CS de Reya has worked to enable equal opportunities and inclusion. She established the South West Women in Leadership programme in 2013, to help female police personnel to fulfil their full potential.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Sam has had an incredibly varied career within policing and I am sure the force will benefit from the high levels of expertise she will bring to the role. She will be a valuable addition to the Chief Officer team and I look forward to working with her.”

Chief Superintendent Sam de Reya said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the brilliant team at Dorset Police and feel privileged to be taking on the role of ACC Operations. I am looking forward enormously to getting to know people and communities across Dorset.”

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