A NEW deputy chief constable has been appointed by Northumbria Police.

The current assistant chief constable, Debbie Ford, will replace current deputy chief constable, Darren Best, after he recently announced he would be retiring later this year.

She joined Northumbria Police as a PC in 1993 before rising through the ranks and serving as the force’s head of crime until 2015.

Debbie was temporarily promoted to assistant chief constable but left the force eight months later to take a permanent position at Greater Manchester Police.

But Northumberland-born Debbie was keen to get back to the North-East and last September she returned to Northumbria as assistant chief constable.

Debbie, who had previously worked in neighbourhood policing, 24/7 response, business improvement and crime during her time in Northumbria Police, said she was proud to become deputy chief constable in the place she called home.

“I was delighted to be able to return to Northumbria in December 2018 and it’s a real honour to now take on the role of deputy chief constable,” she said.

“Since I returned I have seen first-hand the challenges and demands our staff are facing, but also how professional and dedicated everyone is to keeping our communities safe.

“I share that dedication and I am fully committed to supporting Northumbria Police and working with officers and staff to provide the public with the best service we can over the months and years ahead.”

Chief constable Winton Keenen said: “Debbie has a very strong operational background and great leadership skills.

“It is great to have her back in the force. She has always demonstrated a real and personal commitment to Northumbria Police and there is no doubt we can all look forward to this continuing in her new role.”