Vow to make police 'visible and accessible' on new chief's first day

The new temporary chief constable for Norfolk, Paul Sanford.

The new temporary chief constable for Norfolk, Paul Sanford. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk's new chief constable has vowed to "ensure we are a police force which is visible and accessible to all" as he starts his first day in the job.

Paul Sanford is new temporary head of Norfolk Constabulary as of today, and will fill the role until a permanent appointment is made.

The previous incumbent, Simon Bailey, announced his intention to step down in March and finished his final day in the job on Wednesday.

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Wednesday, June 30, marks Simon Bailey's last day as Norfolk chief constable. - Credit: Archant

His deputy, Mr Sanford, was announced shortly after as the new temporary head of the Norfolk force until new Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie selects a new leader.

Mr Sanford joined Norfolk Police in 1999 as a response officer in Sprowston, and has climbed the ranks since before being appointed deputy chief constable in 2019.

Speaking ahead of his first day in the top job, he said he believes the force has the infrastructure and talent to improve.

He said: "I will have a focus on improving our service and protecting our communities from harm.

The new temporary chief constable for Norfolk, Paul Sanford.

The new temporary chief constable for Norfolk, Paul Sanford. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary


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"The role of chief constable is to provide leadership, support and direction which enables our officers and staff to provide the best possible service to all of our communities.

"Whilst the years ahead will have its challenges – including financial uncertainty and increasing complexity in certain crimes – the future of Norfolk Police is very much focussed on providing the public the exceptional service they want and the protection they need.

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"Working with my colleagues, I want to ensure we are a police force which is visible and accessible to all. It is important we engage and connect with our communities to understand their issues and concerns in order to make people feel safe. It is also important we work together to solve those issues and prevent crime from happening in the first place.

"Most importantly, I want to ensure Norfolk Constabulary provides the exceptional service Norfolk’s communities want and a standard of policing local communities can have confidence in.”

Norfolk's new police and crime commissioner, Giles Orpen-Smellie 

Norfolk's new police and crime commissioner, Giles Orpen-Smellie - Credit: Archant

PCC Mr Orpen-Smellie said the process of appointing a permanent chief "will take some time", adding: "I am confident that Norfolk Constabulary is in safe hands during this period."

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