COUNCILLORS are set to discuss policing matters with the Tyne Valley’s new rural inspector.

Insp. Garry Neill has been appointed to the role after a 25-year career with Northumbria Police, during which he has worked in Hexham, Alnwick and Berwick.

He replaces Pam Bridges, who retired during the summer after serving the district for several years.

Insp. Neill was due to attend Hexham Town Council’s October meeting, which took place online on Monday. However, technical issues derailed his participation, and he was instead invited to attend a meeting of the council’s community engagement committee, which will also take place online, on October 21.

Coun. Trevor Cessford said he wished Insp. Neill well in his new role, and said it was a priority for councillors to speak to him.

Speaking about his new appointment this week, Insp, Neill said: “I’ll be covering Tyndale. I’m really excited about the challenges the role brings and the opportunity to return to rural policing.”

The inspector, who has previously worked on high profile murder investigations and critical incidents, and has also overseen the safeguarding of several victims of modern day slavery, set out his priorities for the area.

He added: “Building links with communities and cracking down on the criminals who target them are top the list. I also want to build on that to develop our multi-agency approach, working with partners and alongside communities to best serve and protect them.

“The public we serve are invested in their communities and I promise you, so are we.

“The one role I will always come back to is that of neighbourhood policing – it is at the centre of everything we do.”