Rt Hon Alun Michael, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, has today announced his intention to appoint Matt Jukes as Chief Constable of South Wales Police from 1st January 2018.
The decision is subject to scrutiny by the Police and Crime Panel for South Wales, which will meet on Friday, 8th September, to consider the Commissioner’s decision and whether to endorse it.
The need to appoint a new Chief Constable follows the announcement by the current Chief Constable, Peter Vaughan QPM, of his intention to retire at the end of December. The vacancy was widely advertised across policing in England and Wales. It was drawn to the attention of all eligible officers of senior rank, and at the closing date in July one highly experienced and qualified applicant had emerged.
Mr Michael said today: “Deciding who will lead South Wales Police for the coming years, following the retirement of Peter Vaughan, is probably the most important single decision that I will be called upon to make as Police and Crime Commissioner.
“The force has come through a tough and challenging period of years in good shape thanks to Peter’s strong leadership, but the future is also going to be tough and challenging so we need an outstanding leader to take South Wales Police to a new level, working ever more closely with partners and enabling communities across South Wales to be safe and confident.
“I am certain and confident that in Matt Jukes we have the right person – an outstanding leader with the integrity, the personality, the intellect, the skills and a strong personal commitment to South Wales and to our people. I am therefore seeking the approval of the Police and Crime Panel for my proposed appointment of Matt Jukes as Chief Constable of South Wales from January 2018.
“Such an important appointment needs a stringent scrutiny process to provide public assurance of the validity of the appointment. The process we have followed built on the process of scrutiny by a Parliamentary Select Committee of a proposed ‘preferred candidate’ for a major role by a Secretary of State.
“To have a single applicant is not unusual at this level of policing, and there was no doubt in my mind about the calibre and quality of the candidate. But that is not enough, and I decided to put in place what is probably the most stringent process of scrutiny and challenge that has ever been used for an appointment of this sort.
“Indeed, it became a more stringent process, involving four separate expert panels last week. Those panels questioned the candidate on police ethics, financial management, partnership working in the public sector and the criminal justice system and work with the voluntary and community sector.
“That process was followed by a formal interview panel today, which heard reports from last week’s panel sessions. It was a panel of senior and diverse representatives well qualified to consider the role of the Chief Constable for policing and within the wider public sector. The panel recommended unanimously that I should proceed to make the appointment.
“I have accepted that recommendation, and the proposed appointment now has to be considered by the Police and Crime Panel for South Wales. I will appear before the Panel with Matt Jukes on Friday to explain the process and the outcome, and for the Panel to hear from the candidate and ask us any questions they wish to ask.
“I am grateful to all the people who gave of their time to be involved in this process. It illustrates the importance of the role that the men and women on the panels included council leaders, chief executives, senior executives and academics from a variety of disciplines and agencies.
“As well as scrutinising the candidate, we used the opportunity for engagement and discussion about how to take the officers and staff of South Wales Police to the next level of growth and development in policing, how to further develop the Police and Crime Plan for South Wales and how to strengthen community safety and partnership working across South Wales in the spirit of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
“We reviewed the continuing financial challenges faced by South Wales Police, how to cope with new aspects of crime and how best to consolidate our work on crime prevention and harm reduction. This all helped to tease out the way in which the candidate would serve South Wales and provide leadership in the role of Chief Constable.
“Peter Vaughan will continue to lead the force through the remaining months of 2017, and there will be an opportunity in due course to pay tribute to his outstanding leadership of South Wales Police. For now I am delighted that Peter has welcomed my decision and expressed confidence in Matt Jukes to build on sound foundations and take the police team of South Wales to new levels despite the significant financial and other challenges we will face over the next few years.”
Chief Constable Peter Vaughan said: “I am thrilled with the nomination of Matt Jukes as the preferred candidate to become the next Chief Constable of South Wales Police. I have had the pleasure of working with Matt for the last seven years and consider him to be an individual with huge professional and practical experience. He cares passionately about the communities we serve and the people who make up South Wales Police. I know he will make a positive difference.”
Mr Jukes added: “I look forward to meeting the Police and Crime Panel on Friday – I’m delighted and humbled to be recommended to them by Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael to succeed Peter Vaughan as Chief Constable of South Wales Police.
“Working with Peter has been a master-class and the opportunity to take the force forward is a tremendous privilege. I’m very proud of our people and our many partnerships that have done so much to keep South Wales safe. But we cannot stand still against the challenges we now face and with the panel’s support, I am determined to maintain our progress in preventing crime and protecting our communities.”