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Lincolnshire goes again to Derbyshire for new CC after HR error

A second candidate has been confirmed as the new Chief Constable for Lincolnshire following a disastrous recruitment error – and he comes from the same force as the first.

Double take: Linc's new Chief Chris Haward

Double take: Linc's new Chief Chris Haward

Date - 14th December 2020
By - Chris Smith
8 Comments 8 Comments}

Chris Haward will become Lincolnshire’s new Chief Constable, moving from his current role as head of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).

The recruitment process had to be restarted after an error nearly led to disclosure of sensitive information.

Embarrassingly, Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones had already announced Derbyshire’s Assistant Chief Constable Paul Gibson as the replacement for Bill Skelly who is retiring.

The process was re-run after the PCC took legal advice.

Mr Jones explained: "In September, I announced  Paul as my preferred candidate for the post.

“Paul was an excellent candidate but I had to stop the previous appointment process due to a procedural issue unconnected to Paul’s performance. Paul was naturally disappointed and after reflection, decided that he did not wish to reapply for the position," he said.

“I respect Paul’s decision and want to make it clear that the procedural issues that halted the first selection process did not arise from any aspect of his application, interview or nomination.”

Police Oracle understands the risk was created during the discussions element of the recruitment process and did not relate to the candidates themselves.

Mr Haward currently leads the biggest police collaboration in the UK on Major Crime Investigations, tackling Serious and Organised Crime, covert policing and Counter Terrorism.

The decision means he will be able to take over from Mr Skelly on 19 December.

Mr Haward, who has a degree and a Masters from Leicester University, was raised in Zambia and Botswana before returning to Yorkshire for secondary school.

He joined Leicestershire Police in 1991 where he worked his way up to Detective Inspector through to Chief Superintendent.

He was the Gold Commander for Leicester City Football Club for several years, including the Premiership winning season, and spent three years with Interpol tackling drug trafficking across the globe.

In 2016, Mr Haward moved to Derbyshire Constabulary as Assistant Chief Constable and took over EMSOU in early 2018 in the rank of Deputy Chief Constable. He is married with two children.

“The role presents some exciting challenges and the Force has grown a strong national reputation as an innovator which I look forward to building upon,” he said.

“I am already very familiar with the Force from my work leading on specialist operations across the region but I am excited to become part of the Lincolnshire community and to deliver the policing service that local residents expect and deserve.”

Critical issues will include tackling rural crime and working with the PCC to battle for more resources as the national funding formula consistently delivers limited resources.

HMI Inspectorate in its last PEEL assessment said the force also needed to improve work to tackle anti-social behaviour. But otherwise, the force is being left by Mr Skelly in good shape.

Mr Haward said: “I joined the police nearly three decades ago because I have a strong desire to fight crime and keep communities safe. I will bring that determination and dedication to the county and look forward to meeting the challenges of the future.”

PCC Marc Jones said: “He has a fantastic track record of fighting crime and managing community policing and his appointment is another positive step forward in the drive to create an effective force Lincolnshire can be proud of.”

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Life on Mars - Thu, 17 December 2020

Mess by the PCC, shame about Paul Gibson who was a really good candidate and would have been a good Chief. Chris Haward is a good candidate too and there’s not too many about at the minute. I hope the PCC realises the mess and grief he caused and also that he’s lucky to have ended up with a good Chief - and not much to repels day with the outgoing individual