Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has announced that Warwickshire Police’s Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Tedds is his preferred candidate to be the next Chief Constable of the force. Subject to the approval of Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Panel, she will succeed current Chief Constable Martin Jelley QPM when he retires at the end of June, to become the first female head of the force in its 164-year history.
The announcement comes after a rigorous two-day selection process led by the Commissioner, which was supported by an experienced panel of representatives from across policing, local partners and community members.
During the process, candidates were put through their paces by a variety of interview panels to demonstrate their suitability for the role and their understanding of all communities across Warwickshire. This included an internal stakeholder panel comprising officers and staff from across the force, who were able to quiz the candidates on their knowledge and experience.
The final part of the assessment process included the candidates giving a presentation and answering questions from a panel led by the Commissioner, which also included Monica Fogarty, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Council; Kieran Amos, Chief Fire Officer, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service; John Anderson, Chair of the Joint Audit and Standards Committee; and Chief Constable Stephen Watson of Greater Manchester Police.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said, “I’m delighted to be able to announce Debbie Tedds as my preferred candidate to be the next Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police. She has experience at every level within the force and, as the first female Chief Constable, this will be an appointment of historic significance.
“Choosing the right person to drive forward the development of policing in the county must count as the single biggest decision I’ve had to make during my five years as Commissioner. It was important that we had an open and transparent process to select our next Chief Constable, so that the local community, partners and police officers and staff from a wide range of roles, ranks and grades from across the force had the chance to contribute and ensure that the best outcome was achieved.
“The feedback from all has been very positive and I’d like to publicly thank everyone who took part, as their input was very valuable in making a final decision.
“I am pleased that, in Debbie, I am able to put forward to the Police and Crime Panel an excellent candidate who is already well-known and respected throughout the county. She has demonstrated clear and strategic leadership abilities during the selection process and throughout her career, combined with a calm and friendly approach which will continue to be a great asset to Warwickshire.
“Our current Chief Constable Martin Jelley has been an outstanding leader, navigating the force successfully through a very challenging period in its history and firmly setting it on a sustainable path for success. He will be very much missed when he retires at the end of June and I wish him all the best for the future. However, I am very confident that, if the Police and Crime Panel are supportive of the conclusions from this selection process, in Debbie we will have absolutely the right person to continue the excellent progress that has been made.”
The Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel will hold a confirmation hearing on 11 June to consider a report from the Commissioner recommending T/DCC Tedds as the next Chief Constable.