Sarah Crew has been appointed as the first female Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police - a role she says will be the "greatest honour of her life".
This comes after a 27-year career in the force where she has taken on roles including head of intelligence, lead officer for Bristol CID and commander of South Gloucestershire policing area, before taking on the role of Deputy Chief Constable in 2017.
She is also is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for rape and sexual assault.
Sarah was confirmed in post at a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel today (November 25), three weeks after she was named as the Police and Crime Commissioner’s preferred candidate.
Sarah said: “It will be the greatest honour of my life to serve the wonderfully diverse communities of Avon and Somerset as Chief Constable.
“I don’t underestimate the privilege and responsibility this role carries with it and I’m wholly committed to delivering the outstanding policing our communities want and deserve.
“Policing is at a watershed moment; there’s nothing more precious than the founding principle of policing by consent, and we must work tirelessly to earn and keep the public’s trust.
“As a society, we’re facing growing levels of inequality and a criminal justice process under pressure. These times call for policing to stand strong in its mission and stand firm to protect what we prize in our way of life.
“Protecting and strengthening this bond of trust is my over-riding priority and I believe greater openness and accountability, and a renewed focus on culture and ethics, will be pivotal in achieving this.”
She added: “I want courage and empathy to be at the heart of everything we do – in every interaction with a vulnerable person; at the core of every investigation and in our relentless pursuit of justice.
Sarah has also overseen the launch of Project Bluestone in Avon and Somerset Police – which aims to transform the way police respond and investigate rape and serious sexual offences.
Sarah said: “At its core, Project Bluestone is about shifting the focus onto offenders, while at the same time improving our response to victims.
“It’s vital we relentlessly target, investigate and pursue those who commit the most crime, present the biggest risks and are the most corrosive influences on our communities."
PCC Mark Shelford said he is "delighted" at Chief Constable Crew's appointment. He said: “In a world where crime is changing rapidly, police need to adapt to keep up and I know Sarah enthusiastically supports innovation and improving technology to ensure Avon and Somerset is an efficient and effective police service.
“It’s been a tough two years for policing due to the pandemic, a changing landscape and new demands, but I am confident that Sarah will successfully deliver for our communities at such a pivotal time for policing."