The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel met this morning and debated the North Yorkshire Chief Constable recruitment.
Chief Constable Lisa Winward has previously announced that she would be retiring from the police at the end of March 2023.
The responsibility to recruit a replacement sits with the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), Zoe Metcalfe. However in May 2024, a North Yorkshire Mayor will come into office, taking over the responsibility for the PFCC function.
This has prompted debate as to if the recruitment should start now, or wait until the Mayor comes in.
The panel debated the need to recruit now. Zoe Metcalfe put forward an argument that they had consulted on the need, and she believed that the HMICFRS had said she should recruit as soon a practicably possible, although it wasn’t made clear what that meant. She is also put forward an argument that if a deputy chief constable had to be a Temporary Chief Constable, then it created a need to shuffle resources up to back-fill. However, allowing officers to act in a temporary position is a known way to allow them to gain experience.
The full video of the panel meeting is at the end of this news item.
The panel took a vote on the motion: Recommendation that the PFCC should pause the recruitment process.
9 voted for and 4 voted against
The vote means that the PFCC now needs to formally respond to the panel.
Keith Tordoff is standing as an independent candidate for the Mayor of North Yorkshire, and has previously voiced concern of the recruitment happening ahead of the Mayor entering office.
Keith Tordoff MBE said:
The Deputy Chief Constable should be asked to ‘ act up ‘ as temporary Chief Constable, to give them experience. As temporary they may even be an applicant for the post, giving an opportunity to observe their performance in the role.
The ranks such as an assistant Chief Constable who will temporarily ‘ move up ‘ also gives them invaluable experience, benefitting the North Yorkshire Police or another force…win win !
The video of the debate, and vote.