North's New Chief Constable Announced

The man selected to lead the North's police force has said he hopes to build on his predecessor's success.

Matt Baggott was appointed by the NI Policing Board last night, and will replace outgoing Chief Constable Sir Hugh Order.

Sir Hugh is standing down to preside over the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Mr Baggott, 50, (pictured here) is currently the Chief Constable of the Leicestershire Constabulary. He competed against three other high-profile candidates for the top PSNI post.

After receiving the unanimous backing of the seven-strong Policing Board interview panel, Mr Baggott's appointment was officially approved by Secretary of State Shaun Woodward.

Policing Board Chairman Barry Gilligan said there was no doubt about the challenges that lay ahead for Mr Baggott.

"The Chief Constable job here is challenging, demanding and carries a high profile," he said.

"Matt Baggott has an impressive track record and in leading the PSNI forward his policing experiences will bring a new perspective to the delivery of the policing service here."

The new Chief Constable will work closely with the board in setting the future priorities for policing, and is likely to see the politically sensitive devolution of policing and justice powers to the Stormont Assembly during his tenure.

"This is an important time for policing with the devolution of policing and justice on the cards. Funding of course is a central part of these discussions and as a board we are very aware of the current and future pressures facing policing," added Mr Gilligan.

Mr Baggott said he was "absolutely delighted" to have been given this opportunity to lead the PSNI and serve the community as Chief Constable.

"The PSNI has come through a significant change programme and I look forward to using my experience to build on the progress to date in the delivery of a professional policing service to all the people of Northern Ireland," he said.

Securing necessary funding for future policing provisions and tackling an uprise in dissident republican activity are set to be high priorities for Mr Baggott.

The new PSNI boss said he would build on his strong background in community and neighbourhood policing.


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