Suffolk's new top cop named

SUFFOLK'S new chief constable has spoken of his delight at being appointed to the role.Simon Ash, currently deputy chief constable of Hertfordshire Constabulary, was unveiled as the man to succeed Alastair McWhirter last night.

SUFFOLK'S new chief constable has spoken of his delight at being appointed to the role.

Simon Ash, currently deputy chief constable of Hertfordshire Constabulary, was unveiled as the man to succeed Alastair McWhirter last night.

The 46-year-old was selected from three candidates who applied for the post after being interviewed over the past two days.

He said: “Suffolk is a good force with a good reputation so from that point of view I was delighted to be selected.


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“My early aim will be to develop on the good work that is already being done, particularly with the roll out of the safer neighbourhood teams.

“Suffolk Police Authority will be finalising their policing plan for 2007/08 shortly and my number one job will be to deliver that.”

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Mr Ash, who is married to Lorraine with two children, Jack, 13, and Grace, 11, is looking forward to moving to Suffolk to begin his new role.

He said: “I have only visited as a tourist to places like Southwold and Aldeburgh so I've got a lot to learn about the county. I intend to relocate and bring the family up here. I don't believe you can work in such a community-based job when you are living somewhere else.

“It's good that there's a mix of rural and urban. The other thing is that it's nice to be in a county that has a coastline. I had that in my early career in Kent but I now work in Hertfodshire, which is landlocked.”

Mr Ash described himself as a plain-speaking “tell it like it is” type of person who has a reputation for delivering results.

He added: “I always pride myself on being visible and accessible. If you were to ask my own workforce they would they would say I speak frankly about issues and I care about the work force.”

Gulshan Kayembe, chair of Suffolk Police Authority, said: “The applicants were all of an extremely high quality. However, the interviewing panel felt that Simon is the right person with the right qualities to lead Suffolk Constabulary - and work with the authority to ensure that local people receive the best possible policing service.”

No date has yet been finalised for when Mr Ash will take up his new role. Mr McWhirter is due to retire later this month.

The career of Simon Ash

n Born in Kent, he joined his home county force in 1982, working his way up to chief inspector (operations).

n In 2001, he joined Hertfordshire Constabulary as assistant chief constable and was promoted to deputy chief constable two years later.

n His interests include golf and he is a keen Cambridge United Football Club supporter.

nHe has a BA (hons) degree in geography, an MA in organisational management and a diploma in applied criminology and police studies from Cambridge University.

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