Police chief announces decision to step down

Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Colin Port is to step down from his post at the end of the year.

The news comes just a day after Sue Mountstevens, the newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner for the area, was sworn in at a ceremony in Bristol.

In a press statement issued today, the chief constable said:

“Yesterday I had a meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner. She told me she intends to start the process to recruit a chief constable to take Avon and Somerset forward. I told her I had no intention of applying for my job.”

“I can confirm that I will be retiring from the police service on 26th January 2013 at the end of my fixed term appointment. In effect, I will be leaving considerably sooner.”

Sue Mountstevens said:

“Everyone is aware that the chief constable’s contract expires on 26th January, because of that I would like to run a competitive process to appoint a chief constable for my whole term of office. It was his choice not to apply but I know that he will continue to do great things and I wish him the very best for the future.”

As Mr Port has been in post for eight years, legislation restricts his re-appointment to a one-year term.

A police spokesperson added:

“Discussions took place yesterday and it was felt that these terms did not give residents, officers and staff the clarity which they deserve and need.”

Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley will act as Chief Constable after Mr Port steps down, until such time as a new appointment is made.