Dorset Police Chief Constable leaves role

The Chief Constable of Dorset Police, Martin Baker QPM BSc (Hons) MBA, will step down at the end of this month after his resignation was accepted by the Dorset Police Authority Chief Officer Appointments Committee today, Friday 7 September 2012.

Mr Baker has been Chief Constable of Dorset Police since 1 January 2005.

Commenting on Mr Baker’s decision to resign, the Chairman of the Police Authority, Michael Taylor said: “The Police Authority wishes to express its appreciation for the huge contribution Mr Baker has made to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Force. Under his leadership crime has consistently fallen and public confidence increased despite unprecedented cuts in funding.”

Mr Baker said: “After eight years as Chief Constable in Dorset and over 38 years as a serving police officer, I feel the time is right to hand over leadership of the Force.

“I consider it a privilege to have been the Chief Constable of such an excellent Force, the success of which has been entirely due to the commitment, drive and ability of our police officers, police staff, Special Constables and volunteers who – every minute, of every hour, of every day – work to make Dorset even safer. I would particularly like to thank my wife and my three daughters for their immense support throughout my policing career, they have cheerfully endured all of the house moves and the endless new schools and I cannot fully express to them my immense gratitude.

“I have absolute confidence in the Force and this is epitomised by the excellent results this summer in both the policing of the Force area and delivering a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games in Weymouth and Portland. However, the success of the Force also relies on the support of the wider community and the work that we do in partnership with other local organisations and I thank them all for the work that they do to help protect the public.”

Recognising future challenges of increased demands, further budget cuts and the transition to the Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Baker acknowledged that the Force had been exceptionally fortunate in the recruitment by the Police Authority of two outstanding individuals to the Command Team. Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Simpson joined last year and Assistant Chief Constable James Vaughan joined earlier this year, both of whom complement the existing highly respected team.

The Police Authority has appointed Debbie Simpson as Acting Chief Constable and she will take up her new role on 1 October 2012.

Miss Simpson joined the Force from Devon & Cornwall Constabulary last year. She took over responsibility for the Force One Team Programme, driving forward the changes necessary to meet the budget challenges. Miss Simpson also jointly chairs the Force and Authority Transition Board, overseeing preparations for the transition from Police Authorities to Police and Crime Commissioners which will take place in November.

Miss Simpson said: “I have been overwhelmed by the welcome I have received since joining Dorset Police and am looking forward to taking over as Chief Constable of a top performing Force.”

Members also approved the appointment of Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting as the Force’s Acting Deputy Chief Constable with effect from 1 October 2012. Mr Whiting will take on this new role having recently played a key operational command role in the delivery of a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games at Weymouth and Portland.