Sussex Police Chief Constable Martin Richards to retire

Chief Constable Martin Richards
Image caption Chief Constable Martin Richards will retire next March after a police career of 32 years

The chief constable of Sussex Police has announced he is to retire after six years in the role.

Martin Richards, who served as Wiltshire's chief constable before joining Sussex, will step down in March following a police career of 32 years.

He said it was a decision that he had not "taken lightly".

"My career as a police officer has been a rewarding one and it has been a particular privilege to serve as chief constable of Sussex," he said.

'Talented and committed'

Mr Richards added that he had always intended to retire after 30 years of service "as is usual", but felt it right to support the Police Authority in its final months and the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner.

"It has been my good fortune to serve alongside excellent people and talented and committed partners who, together, have made a huge contribution towards consistently reducing crime in Sussex.

"I shall remember with affection and admiration a workforce that consistently demonstrates the highest qualities of compassion, courage, a sense of justice and, above all, an overwhelming desire to serve," he said.

Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne praised Mr Richards for "steering the force through difficult times" and dealing with some "significant financial challenges".

She said plans were being put in place to advertise for a new chief constable.

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