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PSNI Chief says no to Met return

Another big name has ruled out applying for the Met Commissioner’s job.

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne has become the latest senior officer to rule himself out of the running to be the successor to Dame Cressida Dick.

In a statement, Mr Byrne – said he had not applied as he wanted to continue to delivering the modernisation plan with Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Mr Byrne, who took over the lead at PSNI in July 2019, is a former assistant commissioner for territorial policing at the Met and was the Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police from 2009 to 2011. 

He said: “I am committed to seeing my contract through and gave an undertaking to serve five years as Chief Constable in Northern Ireland. That remains the case.

 “I want to build on my promise to deliver neighbourhood policing, to provide a visible, accessible, responsive and community-based approach to tackling the issues that matter to our local communities,” he said.

“I have a job to do and remain focused to deliver world-class policing to the people of Northern Ireland.”

The deadline for the £293,000-a-year job has now closed after a flurry of calls from Home Office officials to Chiefs in the hope they would apply.

As well as the toxic politics surrounding the departure of Dame Cressida Dick, the application process has coincided with other Chief vacancies opening including Leicestershire and West Midlands.

Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has said no despite impressing Home Secretary Priti Patel with his delivery of the UN COP26 summit.

And just before the deadline, the former Director General of the National Crime Agency, Dame Lynne Owens also revealed she won’t be applying despite being the favourite to take over.

She revealed 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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