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EDITIONS
Friday, 2 November, 2001, 21:11 GMT
New chief appointed to Sussex Police
Sussex Police
Ken Jones will take over early next year
A police chief who was forced to retire over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man is to be replaced with Avon and Somerset Deputy Chief Constable Ken Jones.

Mr Jones takes over the Sussex post from Paul Whitehouse.

Mr Whitehouse came under pressure from Home Secretary David Blunkett to step down over his handling of a bungled operation in which suspected drug dealer James Ashley was shot dead by a police marksman in January 1999.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Jones, who received the Queen's Police Medal on Tuesday for his work at New Scotland Yard over the millennium, said: "I am delighted to take on the challenge of leading Sussex Police - a force with a strong reputation built over many years of policing with the consent of its communities.

'Learning curve'

"I look forward to getting to know Sussex better, meeting and working with my new colleagues - in the force and the police authority - and with our many partners across Sussex."

He added: "I will not just be meeting them and talking to them - I will be listening too.

James Ashley
James Ashley: Shot at close range

"It will be a steep learning curve, but I bring to Sussex a strong commitment to neighbourhood policing and sincere wish to build on the good work that is being done across the force."

David Rogers, chairman of the Sussex Police Authority, which appointed Mr Jones, said: "We have every confidence that under his leadership, Sussex Police will build on recent progress, continue to make improvements in performance, and deliver the highest standards of policing.

'Safer' Sussex

"We look forward to working with him, the people of Sussex and our many partners.

"The police authority will support him, the existing top team and the force in driving down crime and making Sussex safer."

Sussex Police officers involved in the fatal raid were told James Ashley, 39, was dangerous and possibly armed.

He died naked in bed with his girlfriend Caroline Courtland Smith at his flat in St Leonards.

No drugs or guns were found at the address.

Mr Whitehouse departed the force following a letter from Mr Blunkett to Sussex Police Authority inviting them to exercise their powers to dismiss the chief constable.

The letter came after news that two officers who faced disciplinary proceedings in the Ashley case had been promoted.

Mr Jones is expected to take up his new post early in the new year.

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 ON THIS STORY
Former chief constable Paul Whitehouse
"I'm sorry that the Home Secretary didn't have the courtesy to speak to me himself"

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