Chief Constables’s long-term illness forces Suffolk Constabulary to appoint Temporary Chief Constable

Chief Constable Douglas Paxton

Chief Constable Douglas Paxton - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Wilson is to temporarily step up to head the operational side of the county’s police force due to the long-term sickness of Chief Constable Douglas Paxton.

Temporary Chief Constable Gareth Wilson

Temporary Chief Constable Gareth Wilson - Credit: Morgan Hollis

Mr Paxton has not been at work since December 16.

It is understood it could be several months before he returns and Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has said Mr Paxton is unlikely to come back in the “foreseeable future”.

In the short-term the Constabulary is making provisions for the next couple of months to cover for Mr Paxton’s absence.

This includes securing a temporary Deputy Chief Constable from another force.

The decision regarding Mr Wilson’s temporary appointment was announced at a meeting of Suffolk’s Police and Crime Panel.

Following the meeting Mr Passmore issued a statement which read: “The Chief Constable is currently off sick and is likely to be for the foreseeable future.

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“To cover Douglas’ absence I have asked Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Wilson to step up to the role as Temporary Chief Constable with immediate effect.

“To help provide further resilience, former Assistant Chief Constable Tim Newcomb is currently providing short-term support to the Chief Officer Team whilst we work to secure a temporary Deputy Chief Constable to cover Gareth’s substantive post.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Douglas well in his recovery.”