Sussex Police set to have first female chief constable

Jo Shiner has been chosen as the preferred candidate to be chief constable of Sussex Police.

Jun 2, 2020
By Tony Thompson
Jo Shiner

If she is appointed following a confirmation hearing by the police and crime panel on June 26, she will become the first female officer to hold the post.

Sussex police and crime commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne made her decision following a rigorous recruitment process, which began in March, following the announcement that Chief Constable Giles York was to retire.

Yesterday, Ms Shiner and the three other shortlisted candidates appeared before a final interview panel led by Ms Bourne together with Lynne Owens, Director-General of the National Crime Agency; Air Vice-Marshal Bob Judson (retired senior Royal Air Force officer and Sussex resident); and Ms Dianne Newton (an experienced associate assessor for the College of Policing, appointed by the PCC as an independent observer).

Ms Shiner has been deputy chief constable at Sussex Police for the last 18 months and previously served as assistant chief constable for Kent Police.

Ms Bourne said: “Jo Shiner has a wealth of operational policing experience at all levels and has already demonstrated a passion for Sussex, its people and police force, in her role as deputy chief constable over the last 18 months.

“Throughout this time she has really impressed me with her commitment to making our county an even safer place in which to live and work. She believes in achieving this through proactive policing, tougher enforcement, successful community engagement and a greater policing presence in our towns and villages. These are all the things the public have told me they want.

“She has already demonstrated strong leadership within the force and a deep understanding of the complexities facing our communities, with a passion to protect the most vulnerable. I am confident that, going forwards, Jo will be an inspirational, hard-working and hands-on chief constable for Sussex Police.”

Ms Shiner began her policing career in Norfolk in 1993, serving up to the rank of chief superintendent. She then transferred on promotion to Kent Police as assistant chief constable in 2014, before joining Sussex Police as deputy chief constable at the end of 2018.

Her career in the police spans almost 28 years, during which time she has undertaken a wide variety of roles. These have predominantly been operational, both in uniform and within the Child and Adult Protection Unit, CID and as a firearms, public order and critical incident commander.

While working as deputy chief constable, Ms Shiner has been pivotal in ensuring that the additional investment into the force has delivered visible results for our communities, including the Tactical Enforcement Units, rural crime teams, local resolution teams and additional domestic abuse and stalking investigators.

She has also overseen the investment into additional police community support officers and road policing officers. In addition, in January 2020 Ms Shiner took over as National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) national lead for the policing of children and young people. She is also the NPCC national lead for police fitness.

Ms Shiner said: “I feel very humbled and privileged to be given the opportunity to be the preferred candidate for the chief constable of Sussex. Sussex Police is a fantastic force and, subject to confirmation by the police and crime panel, I am committed to ensuring that we continue to provide the very best possible service to the public, through protecting our communities and making Sussex a hostile environment to criminals.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with the PCC, colleagues and partners to provide the best policing to the community.”

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