1. ITV Report

Police morale is Acting Chief Constable's biggest challenge

Acting Chief Constable Sean Sawyer Photo: ITV West Country

The new stand in Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall, Sean Sawyer said today improving police morale is the biggest challenge he'll face over the next few months . The former deputy chief constable for the force is now in his new role which he will be in until November 21st when the post is expected to be advertised . He has eyes firmly set on the top job and says he is no caretaker and aims to tackle the role head on .

He's all too aware that he faces another year of making swingeing cuts of around 16 million pounds in what is the third biggest police area in Britain . He hopes it will become the best urban, rural and coastal police force in the country but he's aware too that tough decisions will have to be made over prioirites on a daily basis. The finances have forced the constabulary to think differently in ways they have never done before.

Throughout his career, mostly in the Metropolitan Police force before moving to Devon two years ago, he has seen the growth of policing but now he is faced with cutbacks. On top of that he is keen to resume a pay review for all non uniformed staff. In 2005 a similar exercise resulted in huge inequalities in salaries and a mass walk out at the force headquarters – actions which led to the forced resignation of the former Chief Constable Maria Wallis. However he believes the pay review is important and could also be helpful in helping to restore morale in some areas.

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