Published Thursday, 29 May 2014
ACC George Hamilton will take over as the new PSNI Chief Constable. (© Pacemaker)
The Policing Board made the announcement on Thursday afternoon following candidate interviews.
A nine-member appointment panel interviewed three police commanders for the post at the Board's Clarendon Dock offices. The appointment was approved by Justice Minister David Ford.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick and Garda Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne were shortlisted alongside Mr Hamilton, who is the PSNI's Assistant Chief Constable.
Welcoming the appointment, Board Chair Anne Connolly said: "The position has been accepted and the formal date of appointment will be confirmed in the next number of days.
"As a Board, we are looking forward to working closely with the new Chief Constable in dealing with the issues facing policing and agreeing a programme of work that supports community confidence in policing."
ACC Hamilton brings wide ranging experience to this important job and has the necessary skills to lead the PSNI forward.
Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly
Thanking the unsuccessful candidates, Ms Connolly added: "The Board was very impressed with the calibre of candidates who applied for the Chief Constable job.
"They had a vast amount of policing expertise and I would like to thank each of them for their interest."
Congratulating ACC Hamilton on his appointment, Mr Ford said: "The position of Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland is one of the most challenging policing roles on these islands.
"I wish to pay tribute to Matt Baggott for his leadership in delivering personal, professional and protective policing to our community, sometimes in the face of extreme adversity.
"I look forward to working with George and his team to continue to build a safer Northern Ireland with a police service that that has the confidence of the entire community."
George will bring a wealth of leadership experience to the PSNI to shape policing in Northern Ireland over the rest of the decade.
Justice Minister David Ford
ACC Hamilton is currently responsible for rural districting policing, covering an area of approximately 11,700 sq km and a population of approximately 900,000.
He began his career in policing when he joined the RUC in 1985.
As well as working in the senior ranks of the PSNI, he was previously ACC in Strathclyde from 2009 to 2011 and also worked in England for three years on a range of police training and organisational development projects.
ACC Hamilton takes up the top role, which is considered to be one of the most prestigious positions in policing in the UK, when Matt Baggott retires.
He is stepping down in September after five years as Chief Constable.
His departure follows on from that of Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie, who took retirement in March.
ACC Hamilton will face a stacked in-tray when he takes over, as the PSNI is currently trying to balance a dwindling budget with its ongoing fight against dissident republican terrorism.
Its resources are also being stretched trying to fulfil its obligations on investigating the past.
Also, last year almost 850 officers were injured in rioting linked to disputes over flags and parades.
With Northern Ireland's politicians having failed to strike any deal to resolve the issues of the past, parades and flags, the spectre of a recurrence of disorder this summer again looms large.
© UTV News