Baggott to retire at end of June

Baggott to retire at end of June

It has been confirmed that Matt Baggott will be retiring as PSNI Chief Constable at the end of this month.

He will step down on 29 June to be replaced by George Hamilton the following day.Matt Baggott was due to retire at the end of August after five years leading Northern Ireland's police service but the date of his departure has now been brought forward.The details were confirmed as he attended his final meeting of the Policing Board on Thursday.Matt Baggott said: "I have been hugely privileged to be the Chief Constable through the devolution of policing and justice and in the early years of the new institutions. I have witnessed countless acts of courage, compassion and commitment from the PSNI, the finest police service in the world."I remain deeply saddened that during my tenure my colleagues Ronan Kerr and Philippa Reynolds have lost their lives and others have been grievously injured in serving all people impartially."There have been controversies; but I have grasped the difficult nettles when required and introduced reforms that I believe will stand the test of time."I have kept my promises to make the PSNI more resilient and able to withstand the upsurge of terrorist attacks and deal with prolonged and unexpected disorder."Dealing with the past is both debilitating and toxic to the confidence of today's policing. It is time to deal with the past in a different way which does not ignore it but moves it to one side and puts leadership, investigation and resolution in different independent hands.Matt BaggottThe outgoing Chief Constable went on to back his successor, George Hamilton, who was picked for the job last month and will be the first home-grown police chief for 12 years.Mr Baggott said: "I think you have appointed in George Hamilton a new Chief Constable of outstanding skill and experience who has developed and earned strong relationships, respect and confidence."He will undoubtedly be his own man and make his own choices and decisions which I know you will both encourage and support. Please give him some time."Following the Police Ombudsman's decision to take the Chief Constable to court over the PSNI's refusal to disclose information to his investigators, Matt Baggott denied there was a "cover up".He added: "There is nothing personal in this, neither is there an attempt to obstruct or hinder the work of the ombudsman."I have said from day one that the work of the Police Ombudsman is critical to the public's confidence in policing."We are responsible for holding information of the utmost sensitivity and seriousness and are responsible for the protection of life."There are laws and competing statutes and legislation that we need clarity on in order for us to fulfil our responsibilities and for the ombudsman to investigate."

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