England

New Avon and Somerset police chief Andy Marsh appointed

Andy Marsh Image copyright Avon and Somerset PCC
Image caption A police and crime panel approved the choice of Andy Marsh as chief

Avon and Somerset's new chief constable has said he wants to build pride in the force, which has had four chiefs in three years.

Former Hampshire police chief Andy Marsh replaces Nick Gargan, who quit after being found guilty of misconduct by an independent panel.

Mr Marsh has taken a pay cut to return to the force which he joined as a constable in 1987.

His appointment was confirmed on Monday.

Mr Marsh has led Hampshire Constabulary for three years and is a former assistant chief constable of the Wiltshire and Avon and Somerset forces.

He told BBC Radio Bristol: "This force means a great deal to me.

"I feel a huge sense of commitment and affinity to this organisation and the people in the communities."

He added: "Policing's been through a difficult few years in Avon and Somerset. The budget's been cut by £59m over the last five years - that's a reduction of about 600 officers.

"So all of the change has been difficult anyway but put on top of that the issues around senior leadership in Avon and Somerset and of course, I don't underestimate the size of the challenge ahead of me.

"I want to build a sense of pride in the constabulary both from the officers and staff who work for it and the public who expect to receive our services, confidence in the leadership of the organisation."

Mr Gargan replaced Colin Port, who quit as chief constable in 2012 after the new police and crime commissioner asked him to reapply for the job. Acting chief constable John Long filled in following Mr Gargan's suspension in May 2014.

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