Sarah is new police chief
Avon and Somerset police Chief Constable Sarah Crew
AVON and Somerset Constabulary has its first female chief constable.
Sarah Crew has risen to the top job on the force, 27 years after she joined as a new recruit.
She was confirmed in post at a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel in late November, after being named as the Police and Crime Commissioner’s preferred candidate following a "rigorous selection process".
During her policing career, Sarah has taken on roles including head of intelligence, lead officer for Bristol CID and commander of the South Gloucestershire policing area, before taking on the role of Deputy Chief Constable in 2017.
She had been appointed temporary chief constable in July, when previous chief constable Andy Marsh stepped down.
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.
"At its heart, the philosophy of policing is a bond of trust between citizens in policing and citizens in communities. Protecting and strengthening this bond of trust is my overriding priority and I believe greater openness and accountability, and a renewed focus on culture and ethics, will be pivotal in achieving this."
Sarah is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for rape and sexual assault, and has overseen the introduction to in Avon and Somerset police of Project Bluestone, aimed at transforming the way police respond and investigate rape and serious sexual offences by improving police response to victims and "shifting the focus onto offenders".
PCC Mark Shelford 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.
"Sarah has a proven track record of strong and successful leadership and, through her NPCC role, she is undertaking important work with criminal justice and partner agencies to improve conviction rates for these types of offences and give victims the support they deserve.
"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."