New Police Chief Constable chosen days after Colin Port loses court battle

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By abbie_wells | Monday, January 14, 2013, 15:31

Sue Mountstevens has proposed a new Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary days after ex-Chief Constable Colin Port lost his high court battle to keep his job.

Sue Mountstevents, Police Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, has proposed that Nick Gargan take the job of Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, following a "competitive, rigorous and open process."

If appointed, Mr Gargan will take the place of Colin Port, who is set to retire at the end of January 2013 after refusing to re-apply for his own job and taking Ms Mountstevens to court.

Mr Port claimed he had been "unlawfully" forced from his post after the Somerset's new PCC told him he would have to reapply for his job and his contract would only be  secure for 12 months at a time.

He argued he was entitled to six months' notice of a decision not to renew his contract, however High Court judge Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart ruled that Ms Mountstevens had not broken any rules.

Mr Gargan was chosen following two days of intensive selection where candidates met members of the Police and Crime Panel, carried out presentations and psychometric tests.

The proposal will be considered at the Police and Crime Panel meeting this Wednesday (January 16, 2013) at North Somerset Council's Castlewood Office, Clevedon.

Speaking after the Sue Mountstevens' announcement, Nick Gargan said: "I am proud to take up the position of Chief Constable for Avon and Somerset Constabulary, subject to the confirmation hearing.

"This is an exciting opportunity for me to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens. Together we will continue the force's improvements in reducing crime and victim satisfaction.

Mr Gargan added: "My experience from the National Policing Improvement Agency and previous roles in Thames Valley and Leicestershire will enable me to make a real difference to the communities of Avon and Somerset.

"I look forward to leading the very committed and dedicated police officers and staff within Avon and Somerset Constabulary."

46-year old Nick Gargan will take up his role on March 1, subject to the confirmation hearing.

Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley will act as Chief Constable on an interim basis from January 27 until Mr Gargan's appointment takes effect.

Sue Mountstevens' said: "I am delighted to propose Nick Gargan as the next Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset.

"Nick is an experienced chief officer who has been working on a national level as Chief Constable and Chief Executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency.

"There was a strong field of candidates and the appointments panel had a difficult job. I would like to publicly thank all the candidates for their interest and the panel for giving up their time to be part of this important process. "

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