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Chiefs talent pool tightens with two of the largest forces recruiting

Two of the biggest jobs in policing are seeking candidates

West Midlands announced it has opened applications to find a new Chief Constable as it was revealed officials have been lobbying potential candidates to be the Metropolitan Police’s new Commissioner because some of the preferred choices have not applied.

Like Norfolk did last year, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has already written to police officers and others across the country holding a rank equivalent to Assistant Chief Constable or above, to invite their interest for the £204,372-a-year job.

Shortlisted candidates due to be interviewed in late June.

Sir David Thompson, who is retiring, was appointed as Chief Constable in 2016 and his contract was extended in 2020 to provide continuity of leadership until end of the Commonwealth Games in August.

PCC Simon Foster, said: “Chief Constable of West Midlands Police is one of the top jobs in British policing and I am keen to attract a talented, wide and diverse panel of candidates.

“The next Chief Constable will play a key role in ensuring public services across the West Midlands work together effectively. The role is important at local, regional and national levels.”

The announcement came as it was revealed officials are keen to get candidates for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner vacancy to come forward.

The Met opened applications in April for the Commissioner’s following the forced resignation of Dame Cressida Dick by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Norfolk, BTP, Avon and Somerset and Greater Manchester are among those to have new Chiefs in place meaning the pool of potential candidates was already small.

Cleveland only appointed a new Chief in February after struggling to find a suitable replacement for Richard Lewis who left in 2021.

Leicestershire has a temporary chief in place, Rob Nixon, following the retirement of Simon Cole.

In total, more than a third of Chiefs have less than three years’ experience.

The pool of Met Commissioner contenders is even smaller after the person tipped as the favourite for the role ruled herself out.

Former head of the National Crime Agency, Lynne Owens, was seen by many as a strong candidate.

Dame Lynne stood down early from leading the NCA due to breast cancer treatment and is now well into recovery.

But she revealed her decision on social media: “To prevent speculation and in the interests of transparency I’m not applying.

“I do not intend to talk about my rationale other than to say it is not health related and I am actively looking for my next career challenge.”

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