Chief Constable Bill Skelly announces retirement

Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Bill Skelly has announced he is to retire from policing later this year.

Jun 18, 2020
By Tony Thompson
Chief Constable Bill Skelly

He will step down on December 18, bringing to an end a 31-year career in policing.

Mr Skelly said: “It’s been a privilege and an honour to lead this force. There have been many challenges during my four years as chief here in Lincolnshire and what I’ve seen is a workforce who constantly rise up and respond to any difficulties put in their path. I am proud to have been among colleagues who come into work day in, and day out, determined to make a difference and improve the lives of others wherever they can.”

Born on the east coast of Scotland, Mr Skelly joined Lincolnshire Police from Devon and Cornwall Police and since taking up his role with the force has been living with his wife Jane close to force headquarters in Nettleham. On retirement he intends to spend some more time with his two adult daughters and wider family once he hands over the force reins.

Through his policing career he has held a number of key positions, including leading the Immigration Crime Team at New Scotland Yard and being appointed in 2008 by Her Majesty the Queen as her Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland.

But he said his work in Lincolnshire around reassuring rural communities, working with partners across the county in all areas, and his commitment to the wellbeing of all his officers and staff that has made him the most proud.

“I am absolutely delighted to be finishing a wonderful career at the very top of policing, here in Lincolnshire. It has made me and my family immensely happy to be amongst such warm and supporting people who welcomed us from the very first day. It’s been an honour to serve as chief constable here,” said Mr Skelly.

“I joined this force with an intention to look after my staff and to provide the public of Lincolnshire with the best possible service by making sure our resources were placed in the right place at the right time.

“We now have an established wellbeing programme that means officers and staff are encouraged to look after both their physical and mental health as routine, not as an exception. Embedding that into culture is vital because the job they all carry out on a daily basis is highly pressured and can take its toll.

“I have also tried my best to persuade government that it needed to provide more funding for the people of Lincolnshire to give them the police service they deserve. I hope that government might hear this and deliver more funding in the months and years ahead. We have been allocated the money to recruit an extra 130 officers as part of the national uplift but the conversation around better distribution of cash for policing has to continue.

“Police and crime commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones has been a consistent and vocal supporter of improving the funding position and I know that he will continue to do so with my successor.”

Mr Jones said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to have appointed and then worked with Chief Constable Skelly in our joint aim of keeping the communities of Lincolnshire safe.

“Bill has left Lincolnshire Police a very different force to the one he joined in 2017 and it’s no exaggeration to say that his mark will be felt for years to come. He cares passionately for the welfare of those in his charge and has always strived to improve the wellbeing of officers and staff alike, something he can be rightly proud of.

“We have, on several occasions, shared a public platform to listen to the concerns of residents and I know just how hard Chief Skelly worked to address their issues. I would also like to thank Bill for the support I received in delivering the local public priorities highlighted in my police and crime plan.

“It falls to me as the PCC for Lincolnshire to appoint Bill’s successor and this process will start in the coming weeks.

“It is a huge honour and responsibility to appoint the next chief constable of Lincolnshire Police and I am confident that with Lincolnshire being such an incredible place to live and the Force being in such good shape that I will have no problem whatsoever in finding an outstanding candidate.”

Details of the procedure to recruit the next chief constable will be announced in due course.

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