New Norfolk chief constable says ‘I’m right man for challenging times’

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 insisted he is the ‘right man to lead us through these challenging times’ after being confirmed in the role permanently. 

Paul Sanford was unanimously backed by the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel after being named preferred candidate for the role by police and crime commissioner (PCC) Giles Orpen-Smellie.

The new temporary chief constable for Norfolk, Paul Sanford.

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

After reviewing full reports detailing the recruitment process, members of the panel questioned both the PCC and Mr Sanford at a confirmation hearing at Norfolk County Hall on December 2, before confirming his appointment.

Mr Sanford, who has served in Norfolk throughout his policing career, had been in temporary charge of the force since former chief constable Simon Bailey retired at the end of June.

Police officer

Norfolk's new chief constable will be in charge of 1,857 officers and 1,197 police staff. - Credit: Archant

He will be in charge of 1,857 officers and 1,197 police staff policing more than 2,000 square miles and investigating more than 62,000 crimes a year.

It comes as the constabulary faces challenges including winning back trust over violence against women in the wake of the Sarah Everard case and issues involving Norfolk officers.

“This is a new dawn for the constabulary,” he said. “It is my wish to instil a new culture and approach. The future will be different.

“This is a new dawn and I am very confident I’m the right man to lead us through these challenging times.”

Chief Constable Paul Sanford with Pc Alex McNulty at Kings Lynn bus station

Chief Constable Paul Sanford with PC Alex McNulty at Kings Lynn bus station as part of the Safe Streets initiative. - Credit: NORFOLK POLICE

Last month Mr Sanford said he was determined to improve how it investigates domestic violence, including providing extra training for officers and shifting the focus towards perpetrators.

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Members of the panel questioned Mr Sanford on issues ranging from his policing career, diversity in the Norfolk force and the use of technology by frontline officers.

He also faced questions on how he will protect the mental health and wellbeing of officers and staff, visible policing in rural areas and how well he and senior officers will work with the PCC.

Norfolk police and crime commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie

Norfolk police and crime commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie had named Paul Sanford preferred candidate for chief constable. - Credit: Norfolk Police

In a speech to the panel ahead of questions, Mr Sanford said: “It is my belief there has never been a time of greater importance to choose the right chief constable of Norfolk. 

“Now more than ever we need a trusted, competent and inspirational leader. My vision in one simple sentence is ‘exceptional policing for Norfolk.’”

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