30/05/2014

New PSNI Chief Appointed

George Hamilton has been appointed as the new Chief Constable of the PSNI, succeeding Matt Baggot, who announced in January that he would be retiring.

Mr Hamilton is originally from Bangor in County Down and currently a PSNI assistant chief constable. He has been a police officer since joining the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1985.

Mr Hamilton was chief superintendent and district commander for south and east Belfast before being appointed assistant chief constable of Strathclyde police in 2009. But he then returned to the PSNI in 2011.

He also served in England and Wales between 1994 and 1997.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have welcomed Mr Hamilton's appointment.

The First Minister said: "There is no doubt that the post of Chief Constable a very challenging one. I am confident George will use his considerable experience gained over many years to deal with policing issues and help shape the future of policing in Northern Ireland.

"I pay tribute to outgoing Chief Constable Matt Baggott and thank him for the valuable contribution he has made to policing for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland."

The deputy First Minister said: “I congratulate George Hamilton on his appointment as Chief Constable of the PSNI. "Matt Baggott has led the PSNI through a period of considerable change over recent years and I thank him for his efforts and wish him every success in the future."
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Ni Secretary Theresa Villiers added: "I wish George all the very best as he takes up this important position and builds on the important work carried out by the current Chief Constable, Matt Baggott.

"The PSNI has a great deal to be proud of. Like all police forces it must deliver the best policing service possible at a time of unprecedented pressure on public finances. But the PSNI and its officers also face sensitivities, dangers and public order situations that make the challenge unique in the UK. This is a time for strong leadership and I am confident that George Hamilton will provide this.

"As a government we remain committed to ensuring that the Chief Constable has the support he needs to keep the community safe. The significant extra funding of £231 million that this Government will provide between 2011 and 2016 is playing a vital role in helping the PSNI to tackle the terrorist threat."

Justice Minister David Ford said: "Congratulations to George on his appointment as Chief Constable. The position of Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland is one of the most challenging policing roles on these islands. George will bring a wealth of leadership experience to the PSNI to shape policing in Northern Ireland over the rest of the decade.

"I wish to pay tribute to Matt Baggott for his leadership in delivering personal, professional and protective policing to our community, sometimes in the face of extreme adversity."

(IT)

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