Bedfordshire Police's newly appointed Chief Constable Garry Forsyth has been warmly welcomed into his role this week by the force's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kathryn Holloway.
CC Forsyth was chosen for the role in May after a transparent interview process, which included a live-streamed presentation in front of an audience. His nomination was later confirmed by the Beds Police and Crime Panel.
CC Forsyth said he was honoured to build on the legacy of his predecessor Jon Boutcher, as well as the current PCC Mrs Holloway.
He stated: “Unsurprisingly, at the top of my priorities will be continuing to ensure that we have the right level of funding for Bedfordshire.
“While it will not deliver all of the resource we know we need, I am encouraged by recent announcements of investment.
"But there will be lots of work to be done with many partners if the effect of this investment is to be properly felt by the public."
The new Chief Constable also paid special tribute to the PCC Mrs Holloway, adding: “I have seen at first hand the benefits that can be achieved with the strong support of a determined PCC and this has been key to securing additional funding for the force and transforming how the force is perceived across the country.
"I very much look forward to continuing in this vein and I am excited at the start of my tenure for the future of our force and the county of Bedfordshire."
Mrs Holloway added: “Garry and I get on incredibly well. We’ve proved that we are a strong working partnership over the past two years, while Garry has been the Deputy Chief Constable.
"I’m completely certain that he is the right person in the right job to take Bedfordshire Police into an ever brighter future in the service of the public in this county.”
CC Forsyth's appointment comes as new Prime Minister Boris Johnson gets to grips with the UK's policing crisis, with the promise of 20,000 additional police officers nationally.
Mrs Holloway stated: “People should be reassured that we haven’t let the ball drop for a moment.
"We’ve been in touch with the new Prime Minister, Home Secretary and Policing Minister to make Bedfordshire Police’s bid as early as possible for a fair share of the new uplift of 20,000 officers that’s been promised nationally."
Mrs Holloway also voiced concerns over mandatory degrees for new police constables, adding: "Our voices are being heard as one concerning the need for policing to have two entry routes for new Constables moving forward - both a degree programme, which the College of Policing is insisting on, and a non-degree route.
"We cannot allow this to become a bottle neck, holding up the uplift in our front line.”