South East Wales

Gwent Police chief constable Mick Giannasi to retire

Mick Giannasi
Image caption Mick Giannasi will step down on 1 April next year

Gwent Police's most senior officer is to retire from the police service after two years in the post.

Mick Giannasi, from Stoke-on-Trent, joined Gwent Police in 2005 and became chief constable in September 2008.

Mr Giannasi said that with funding cuts looming and directly elected police commissioners due to be introduced in 2012 the time was right for him to go.

Cilla Davies of Gwent Police Authority paid tribute to him as "an exceptional leader".

Mr Giannasi anounced his intention to step down on 1 April 2011 after more than 31 years police service.

"I have decided that now is the right time for me to move on, both in my own interests and in the best interests of the force," he said.

Over the past three years, against a background of reducing budgets, Gwent Police had undertaken a significant transformation to make it fit for purpose for the 21st century, he said.

He added that over the next five years, the force would face new and significant challenges.

"Not least amongst them," he added, "(is) the challenge of maintaining an effective policing service with huge reductions in funding and the need to manage the consequences of the introduction of directly elected Police Commissioners in 2012."

Mr Giannasi said his resignation would enable a new chief constable to provide the longer term continuity of leadership and direction.

This would ensure that the force continued to provide an effective policing service against a background of significant change.

Ms Davies commented: "It is with deep regret that I accepted Mick Giannasi's resignation on behalf of Gwent Police Authority.

"He has given Gwent and Wales exemplary service and has been an exceptional leader."

Ms Davies added that the recruitment process to replace Mr Giannasi would begin straight away and an appointment would be made by early 2011.

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