Page last updated at 19:20 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 20:20 UK

Baggott appointed new PSNI chief

Matt Baggott
Matt Baggott was appointed following a 90-minute interview

Matt Baggott has been appointed as chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The chief constable of Leicestershire replaces Sir Hugh Orde, who is leaving the PSNI to become president of the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Members of the independent Policing Board scrutiny body had interviewed four candidates for the post, which attracts an annual salary of £183,954.

The appointment has been approved by NI Secretary Shaun Woodward.

The other candidates were Jon Stoddart, head of Durham police, Paul West of West Mercia Police and Jim Gamble, head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre and the only contender from Northern Ireland.

Bernard Hogan-Howe of Merseyside Police withdrew from the shortlist earlier this month.


Each of the four candidates went through a 90-minute interview during which they had to make a presentation on a policing theme.

It is extremely important to note the decision, the first appointment of a chief constable by a full representative Policing Board, was unanimous
Shaun Woodward
Northern Ireland secretary

The interviewing panel consisted of Policing Board chairman Barry Gilligan, vice-chairman Brian Rea and MLAs Alex Maskey, Dolores Kelly, Ian Paisley Jr and Leslie Cree.

Mr Baggott narrowly missed out on becoming head of the West Midlands police earlier this year.

Leicestershire Constabulary chief since 2002, he is a strong advocate of the type of community-style policing favoured by the Policing Board.

Mr Baggott spent the first 20 years of his career in the Metropolitan Police where he focused on inner city crime, and headed the police team assisting the Stephen Lawrence Public Inquiry.

In 1998, he became assistant chief constable in the West Midlands and was promoted to deputy chief constable in 2001.

Sir Hugh Orde
Sir Hugh Orde is leaving the PSNI after seven years in charge

He worked with former PSNI Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan on the National Review of Policing.

He is president of the Christian Police Association and vice-president of the National Association of Police Chaplains.

Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward said he was "happy to approve the appointment".

"It is extremely important to note the decision, the first appointment of a chief constable by a full representative Policing Board, was unanimous and I have no doubt that having the full support of the board will give the new chief constable a strong platform from which to build on Sir Hugh's success," Mr Woodward said.

The DUP congratulated Mr Baggott on his appointment, adding: "We have already assured the incoming chief constable that any deal to devolve policing powers to Stormont can only be considered when a suitable financial package is in place to support policing in the province."

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