Candidate for new police chief is confirmed

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Lincolnshire Police are a step closer to appointing a new chief constable after the leading candidate won backing from a scrutiny panel.

The Lincolnshire police and crime panel has recommended to police and crime commissioner Marc Jones that his proposed appointment of Bill Skelly be confirmed.

The panel’s decision followed a confirmation hearing, where members scrutinised Mr Skelly on his experience of strategic and operational policing, partnership working and his intended priorities for Lincolnshire.

Panel chairman Chris Cook said: “The panel was unanimous in its decision to support the commissioner in the appointment of Mr Skelly as the next chief constable.

“It was very clear that Mr Skelly has considerable experience and the panel believes his appointment will be positive for policing across the county.”

Mr Skelly is currently deputy chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police.

He will move to Lincolnshire to take up the post in early 2017 , following the retirement of current chief constable Neil Rhodes.

Mr Jones said: “I was very confident we had found the right man to lead Lincolnshire Police into a bright future and delighted members of the panel share that confidence.

“Both my office and the panel have conducted an exhaustive process of interviews with Mr Skelly and he has demonstrated his knowledge, experience and commitment throughout.

He added: “Now the panel has confirmed his appointment I’m looking forward to working with the new chief constable to continue providing the high quality of policing that the residents of this county deserve.”

Mr Rhodes announced his retirement in September, closing the book on his 31-year career in the force which saw him rise through the ranks to take the top job in 2012.

The chief constable is expected to step down in early February, but has so far declined to comment on his post-retirement plans.

The vacancy was advertised across the country, but the appointment process was protracted after slow uptake by suitable candidates meant that it had to be reopened for applications.