THE CHIEF constable of North Yorkshire Police has announced his immediate retirement.
Dave Jones, who joined the police nearly 32 years ago, said it was "time to step back and be with my family".
Mr Jones had led the North Yorkshire force since 2013 and in 2016 he also took temporary charge of South Yorkshire Police during one of the most turbulent times in its history.
He was chosen to lead the force until a permanent replacement could be found for chief constable David Crompton, who had been forced out of office in the wake of the Hillsborough inquests.
Last year, Mr Jones was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service in the New Year Honours List.
He had been due to retire after 30 years' service but had agreed to extend his time with North Yorkshire Police to provide continuity of leadership at a time of other retirements in its chief officer team, the force said.
In a statement issued today, Mr Jones said: "I have been proud to serve the community for nearly 32 years, but it is now time to step back and be with my family.
He said the force was “firmly on the road to a modernised service”.
He added: “However policing does not stand still, and North Yorkshire Policing is about to start the next phase in its transformation.
“This seemed like the right time for me to hand over the baton to a new leader, who can take the service on this new stage of the journey."
The National Police Chiefs' Council praised Mr Jones' service to policing, with chairman Sara Thornton saying he had been a committed member of the council and had led its work on both rural crime and citizens in policing.
She said: "The readiness with which he transferred to South Yorkshire Police when they urgently needed help impressed all those involved.
“He was insightful, energetic and completely selfless.”
North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, said Mr Jones' service had been "exceptional".
She said: “It was with great regret that I have accepted Dave Jones’ decision to retire, but I completely understand and respect his wish to spend more time with his family."
North Yorkshire Police’s current deputy chief constable, Lisa Winward, will assume temporary command until a permanent replacement is recruited.