SUFFOLK’S former deputy chief constable is set to be appointed permanent head of another force – effectively ruling her out of the race to return to the top job here.

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Jacqui Cheer was appointed assistant chief constable in Suffolk in 2006 and was promoted to deputy chief constable the following year.

In November 2011, she was seconded to Cleveland as acting chief constable following the suspension of the force’s head.

There had been speculation that she could return to Suffolk after the force’s current chief Simon Ash announced his retirement from the police earlier this year.

But Mrs Cheer is set to become permanent chief of the Cleveland force.

She is the only candidate in the running for the job, and has the backing of Cleveland’s police and crime commissioner Barry Coppinger.

He said: “I believe we have been very fortunate to have a candidate of the quality of Jacqui Cheer who has already demonstrated both her leadership skills and her ability to introduce the new ways of working we need to meet the demands of modern policing and protect frontline services to the public at a time when resources are under unprecedented pressure.”

Mrs Cheer said: “I am delighted to have been recommended by the commissioner for the position of Chief Constable of Cleveland Police.

“The last year has been challenging yet extremely rewarding, and I look forward to continuing the work to shape the force for the future.”

The Police and Crime Panel will hold a confirmation hearing to consider Mrs Cheer’s appointment on February 5.

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