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13 October, 2023

Commissioner Rejects Panel’s Advice to Delay Chief Process

Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe
Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe today rejected the Panel’s recommendation to delay recruitment of North Yorkshire’s next Chief Constable.  

The Commissioner stated that temporary leadership for many months to come, would not be in the public’s best interest. 

Commissioner Zoë drew particular attention to the professional, expert views of national policing bodies – making clear to the Panel that recruiting now was backed by the national HMICFRS Chief Inspector, the Chief Executive of the national College of Policing and the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners.  

Despite this, a majority of Members voted in favour of a delay. 

Rejecting the recommendation, Commissioner Zoë highlighted 

“As the single elected individual with responsibility for the totality of policing and crime for York and North Yorkshire, I have a duty to ensure that the Force has outstanding, inspirational long-term leadership to keep our communities safe and feeling safe.

I was surprised that some Panel Members saw fit to substitute their preference, not just for my decision, but for the considered professional views of all national stakeholders with a remit for excellence in police leadership.

It gives me no pleasure to say that the recommendations of those key national stakeholders outweigh the Panel’s recommendation.

I stand by my decision.

This is a crucial time for the programme of improvements for North Yorkshire Police. Delay in establishing clear leadership would be wrong.

The recruitment is getting underway and will proceed on schedule.

The role of Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police is a terrific opportunity for an inspirational, visionary chief police officer. The process for selection will be open, rigorous, exciting and challenging – and will involve a broad range of local and national key partner organisations so that York and North Yorkshire can be sure that we have the very best of police leadership for our communities.”

Commissioner’s full response to the Panel:

13 October 2023  

Dear Chair   

Response to s29(3) Recommendation 

Chief Constable Appointment Process  

I note the non-binding Recommendation of the Panel at yesterday’s meeting, to the effect that the recruitment of a Chief Constable to fill the forthcoming vacancy should be ‘paused’.   

In accordance with s29(4) Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, I now respond.   

I was surprised that a majority of Members saw fit to substitute their preference for the considered professional views of   

  • His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary
  • The Chief Executive of the College of Policing 
  • The National Association of Police & Crime Commissioners

as well as mine as the single elected individual with responsibility for the totality of policing and crime for the area.  

I was grateful to those Members who acknowledged the detailed, thorough options appraisal prepared in support of my Decision Notice.  

The Panel offered no compelling counterbalancing rationale that would cause me to revisit my decision.  

The full, published options appraisal stands. It sets out why I have decided to proceed in the interests of the public of York and North Yorkshire.  

I reject the Recommendation and will publish a copy of this letter.  

The Appointment process will be open, fair, transparent and rigorous – it will be independently supported by the College of Policing and quality assured by an Independent Member who will report to the Panel at confirmation hearing stage. The Panel will no doubt share my wish to encourage the strongest possible field of applicants for the role. With that in mind, in the interests of the public and of scrupulous fairness to candidates I would ask for your assurance that the Panel will not permit yesterday’s Recommendation or this response to it, to influence the approach to its role in the eventual confirmation hearing.  

Yours faithfully 

Zoë Metcalfe

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for York and North Yorkshire