New chief constable for Lincolnshire approved by panel

Chris Haward will become the new Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable, after impressing councillors in the Police and Crime Panel on Thursday night.

Mr Haward, currently the East Midlands Deputy Chief Constable, will be offered a £161,115 yearly salary — 12.7 per cent higher than the originally advertised £142,896 wage offer.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking on the role of the new Chief Constable in Lincolnshire.

“The role presents some exciting challenges and the force has grown a strong national reputation as an innovator which I look forward to building upon. I am already very familiar with the force from my work leading on specialist operations across the region, but I am excited to become part of the Lincolnshire community and to deliver the policing service that local residents expect and deserve.

“I joined the police nearly three decades ago because I have a strong desire to fight crime and keep communities safe. I will bring that determination and dedication to the county and look forward to meeting the challenges of the future.”

Mr Haward will move from his current role as head of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) where he has led on Major Crime Investigations, tackling Serious and Organised Crime, covert policing and Counter Terrorism.

In his time at EMSOU – the largest police collaboration in the UK – the unit has seen an increase in operations completed, arrests made and convictions secured.

Mr Haward, who has a degree and a Masters from Leicester University, takes over the role from retiring Chief Constable Bill Skelly on December 19 after an exhaustive recruitment process by the Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones.

Mr Jones said: “I am delighted to be able to bring a senior officer of Chris’ experience and commitment to Lincolnshire.

“He has a fantastic track record of fighting crime and managing community policing and his appointment is another positive step forward in the drive to create an effective force Lincolnshire can be proud of.”

He added: “I very much look forward to working with Chris to keep our communities safe.”

Growing up in Zambia and Botswana as a child, Mr Haward said “diversity, respect, fairness and equality are absolutely paramount to everything I do as a person and a chief constable”.

He returned to Yorkshire for secondary school and joined Leicestershire Police in 1991, where he worked his way up from beat bobby to Detective Inspector to Chief Superintendent.

He was the Gold Commander for Leicester City Football Club for several years, including the Premiership winning season, and spent three years with Interpol tackling drug trafficking across the globe.

In 2016 Mr Haward moved to Derbyshire Constabulary as Assistant Chief Constable and took over EMSOU in early 2018 in the rank of Deputy Chief Constable.

He is married with two children.

The process of searching for a new chief constable was restarted in October following “procedural complications”.

Paul Gibson, the previously chosen replacement for Bill Skelly, was blocked by “issues relating to the probable disclosure of candidates’ information” to the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel, which was meant to approve the new chief.

Mr Gibson was not the preferred candidate the second time, but it is unknown if he reapplied for the role or was put off by the previous experience.

Proposed terms and conditions have indicated the contract will be for the current maximum of five years, and that Mr Haward will buy a property close to Lincolnshire Police’s Nettleham HQ.