DCC steps up as chief constable relinquishes command

Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has appointed an acting chief constable after Steve Ashman serves his last day in charge.

Sep 29, 2017

Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has appointed an acting chief constable after Steve Ashman serves his last day in charge. The force’s deputy chief constable, Winton Keenen, has been given the role on a temporary basis after Mr Ashman announced last month that he will retire in November following 30 years of service. However, Mr Ashman will hand over the reins to his deputy on Sunday. Police Professional understands that Mr Keenan has already notified the PCC that he will not be seeking the role on a permanent basis having also served more than 30 years. On Monday (October 2), he will be appointed acting chief constable as Mr Ashman has a number of police engagements outside the force area and has accumulated annual leave before his retirement date. In November, he will become temporary chief constable while a permanent successor is sought. When a replacement is appointed, Mr Keenen will revert to deputy chief constable. Northumbria PCC Dame Vera Baird has started the recruitment process for the chief constable position and candidates have until October 15 to apply. She said: “Steve Ashman has been an outstanding chief constable and it’s important that we have a smooth transition whilst we recruit Mr Ashman’s successor. Winton has a wealth of experience and he is passionate about delivering outstanding policing. “He knows Northumbria well, he has served our communities for over 30 years – his experience, knowledge and commitment are the attributes we need as we enter a new era and recruit a new chief constable for Northumbria Police.” Mr Keenen has served his entire career with Northumbria Police, joining in 1985 and based in Sunderland North. He was seconded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to Iraq in 2003/4 as the first contingent commander for the deployment of UK non-military police officers acting as mentors to members of the Iraq Police Service. Mr Keenen said: “Northumbria Police is an excellent police force, we have a team of officers and staff who really make a difference and go the extra mile. I’m delighted to accept Dame Vera’s offer to take over as acting chief constable until Mr Ashman’s successor is in post. “I’ll continue to build upon Mr Ashman’s superb work as chief constable and set the foundations for his successor to lead our excellent police force. The challenges facing policing continue to test us all – but I will continue to ensure Dame Vera’s Police and Crime plan is delivered.”

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