Troubled search for Yorkshire police boss finally over

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South Yorkshire Police has a new Chief Constable after David Crompton agreed to take charge of the region’s second-largest force.

The 48-year-old replaces former chief Meredydd Hughes, who retired last October after 32 years in the police service.

Mr Crompton, from Manchester, joins from West Yorkshire Police, where he held a series of senior roles and had responsibility for overseeing proposals to save the force more than £100m by 2015.

His contract will be due for renewal in November 2014.

Mr Crompton said: “It is a great honour and privilege to become Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, a force which has a fantastic reputation as one of the best in the country.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of leading the force through what is a significant transitional period for policing across the UK.

“We will have to successfully manage the reduction in our budgets, changes to our partner agencies and the impact this will have on communities across South Yorkshire.

“A lot of work has been undertaken in South Yorkshire to ensure crime is at its lowest for more than 20 years.

“We will be doing all we can to continue this success.”

At West Yorkshire, Mr Crompton had responsibility for local policing and territorial operations while an Assistant Chief Constable.

He was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief constable in 2008.

The chairman of South Yorkshire Police Authority, Charles Perryman, said: “We are pleased to appoint Mr Crompton as Chief Constable. He joins South Yorkshire Police with fantastic credentials and experience, and will be a real asset to the county.

“Mr Crompton faces a difficult test in guiding South Yorkshire Police through a tough economic climate and with the pending arrival of the elected police and crime commissioners will have to manage an ever-changing landscape within policing.”

Bob Dyson, who has led South Yorkshire Police since Mr Hughes’s retirement, said: “David joins us at a challenging time but the Force is well placed to meet those challenges.”

The appointment marks the end of a search dogged by delays and uncertainty. The police authority expected to hold interviews in October, but the position had to be re-advertised after only two candidates, Mr Crompton and National Policing Improvement Agency chief executive Nick Gargan, came forward.

A third applicant, Stuart Hyde, then entered the fray but later ruled himself out after being offered the top job at Cumbria Police.