AVON and Somerset Police look set to have their first ever woman chief constable.

Sarah Crew is likely to be given the job later this month.

She was previously the deputy chief constable from 2017 of the force until she was appointed temporary chief constable earlier this year after Andy Marsh stepped down.

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford has announced Ms Crew is his preferred candidate to take the post on a permanent basis.

The Police and Crime Panel will meet on Thursday, November 25, to discuss handing her the role.

Yeovil Express:

PCC Mark Shelford with his preferred candidate Sarah Crew.

Mr Shelford said: "I am delighted to announce my preferred candidate – Sarah Crew – and look forward to the Police and Crime Panel confirmation hearing.

“At the start of this process, I said I was looking for a robust and innovative chief constable who is able to inspire their workforce and Sarah has a proven track record of strong and effective leadership.

“It’s been a tough two years for policing due to the pandemic, a changing landscape and new demands, but I am confident that Sarah will successfully deliver a professional, efficient and effective police service for our communities.

"The police officers and staff in Avon and Somerset are dedicated and hardworking, and I believe that Sarah can enhance their considerable efforts and skills.”

The selection panel was made up of Mr Shelford, former chief constable for Dorset James Vaughan, chief executive of Voscur Sandra Meadows and independent member Carolyn Dhanraj.

The announcement follows a rigorous selection process by the PCC and a selection panel. Over the two days, the candidates completed a media exercise, met with two stakeholder panels before attending a final interview with the selection panel.

Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, PCCs are responsible for appointing chief constables. Following the decision, the PCC must then inform the Police and Crime Panel of the preferred candidate.

The Police and Crime Panel must consider the appointment within three weeks and hold a confirmation hearing.

The Police and Crime Panel must then give its views on whether or not the candidate should be appointed.

The panel has the power to veto the PCC’s choice, but this can only be done if two-thirds of the panel agree.