Wanted: New Chief Constable for Gwent
12:31pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
Applications are now open for a new Chief Constable for Gwent complete with six-figure salary, following the controversial retirement of Carmel Napier.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent is now advertising for an ‘enthusiastic, energetic and talented individual’ to develop and lead a new team as Chief Constable.
The job opening comes after the forced departure of former chief constable, Carmel Napier, whose thirty years of service came to an end in June of this year.
The Argus exclusively revealed that the Gwent Police and Crime commissioner, Ian Johnston had told Mrs Napier to retire or be removed, after the contents of Mr Johnston’s memorandum were leaked to the newspaper.
In a meeting between the two on May 23, Mr Johnston said Mrs Napier had shown a “total lack of acceptance of the role and statutory responsibilities of the PCC.” Her relationship to the PCC and his office was called ‘hostile’ as it emerged she had instructed members of the force not to have any contact with the commissioner.
According to the notes of the meeting, which are signed by Mr Johnston and his chief executive Shelley Bosson, Mr Johnston told the Chief Constable: “In my judgement you have lost the confidence of the public of Gwent and of your officers and staff.”
The pair had public disagreements over crime figures and had also clashed over the closure of several police station front desks in the force area.
The Chief Constable is accountable to the Police and Crime Commissioner for the policing in Gwent. During Mrs Napier’s time in charge of Gwent Police, the force reported the biggest reduction in recorded crime six times during quarterly crime reports of the past few years.
The action from the democratically-elected commissioner prompted an inquiry by a Home Affairs Select Committee in July. In her evidence to MPs, Mrs Napier accused Mr Johnston of "menacing and bullying" her out of her job.
The forced retirement of Mrs Napier is thought to have cost policing in Gwent almost £80,000. Deputy Chief Constable Jeff Farrar has been acting as temporary chief constable until now.
Application forms are now being welcomed for the four year fixed term position that comes with a £133,068 salary.
In the overview of the role’s responsibilities, the job description states: “To be a role model for upholding high standards of professional and ethical behaviour.”
Candidates must be police officers, with suitable qualifications.
The closing date for applications is 27 September, before the shortlist is announced on 7 October.
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