THE Police and Crime Commissioner’s recommendation for his deputy was today approved by the Gwent police and crime panel.

Paul Harris will now take up his post alongside the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston.

None of the panel members raised any objections to Mr Johnston's former colleague being appointed to the £52,000 salary position.

Mr Johnston’s proposal that the amount Gwent residents pay for their policing through the 2013-14 precept should increase by 2.66 percent was accepted by the panel.

Mr Harris was a police officer in Gwent between 1976-1998 and left the force as a detective chief inspector. He has worked with the National criminal intelligence service and the serious organised crime agency on secondment in The Hague in the Netherlands. Prior to taking up this post Paul had worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Welcoming his deputy, Ian Johnston said: "Paul brings with him a wealth of experience and understanding of the role, as well as an excellent track record of getting the job done.

Paul Harris added: "I’m delighted to have been appointed to the post. This is a new and very challenging role with a real opportunity to make a difference for the people of Gwent.