South East Wales

Gwent Police Chief Constable Carmel Napier to stand down

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Media captionGwent Chief Constable Carmel Napier has led the force since 2011

Gwent Chief Constable Carmel Napier is to stand down, the force's police and crime commissioner (PCC) has confirmed.

Ms Napier has led the Gwent force since 2011.

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston said she had decided to retire after 30 years service of policing in England and Wales.

He added her services would be recognised and a temporary replacement would be appointed next week ahead of the search for a permanent replacement.

"The chief constable has completed 30 years' public service in four different forces in England and Wales and has decided she would like to retire," Mr Johnston told BBC Radio Wales.

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Media captionGwent police and crime commissioner Ian Johnston said he had accepted Ms Napier's retirement

"I've accepted that retirement."

William Graham, Conservative AM for South Wales East, said he would be "sorry to see her go".

"Carmel has been an excellent chief constable, and given dedicated service - not only to the police throughout the United Kingdom, but particularly in Gwent," he said.

"It's good for us to have a woman as the chief constable. I recognise that it is an important decision for her at this time."

However, the Labour MP for Caerphilly Wayne David said Ms Napier's decision highlighted reported tensions between her and the commissioner.

"It's been common knowledge there's been a very poor relationship between the chief constable and the PCC," he claimed.

"For me, this shows very, very clearly that there's an inherent conflict in the legislation which brought about the police and crime commissioners."

After graduating from university with honours in English and Music, Ms Napier joined Hertfordshire Police in 1983.

She left Hertfordshire after 17 years, progressing from Det Insp to Det Supt at North Yorkshire, before being promoted to Det Chief Supt, head of CID and specialist operations, including the force control room.

In 2006 she joined Essex Police as Assistant Chief Constable in charge of territorial policing, which included five command units and Stansted Airport, with 4,000 officers under her.

After two years in Essex, she became Deputy Chief Constable in Gwent in September 2008, taking the top job three years later.

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