Baggott to retire at end of June

Published Thursday, 05 June 2014
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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 Baggott

The 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."

© UTV News
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14 Comments
in Australia wrote (136 days ago):
John in Newtonabbey, its because of people like you that i moved away! Your poisoned view of the past tarnishes your perspective of the current. Like all Chief Constables he had difficult decisions to make and cannot please everyone all of the time. This will be the case for George Hamilton too. In the hour of need people from all walks of life called upon the RUC as they did with the PSNI. Perhaps when disaster or danger comes to your door you will choose to stick by your biased beliefs and deal with it yourself. You are a disgrace !
ColinG in Ballynahinch wrote (139 days ago):
Poor Matt aged 40 years since taking up post in this lawless wasteland - he tried his best without achieving anything. Now Mr Hamilton grab this place by the scruff of the neck - clamp down on illegal fuel plants, drugs, illegal parades (on both sides)illegal protest camps, illegal burning of tyres, hate crimes the list goes on and on. Good Luck for the future.
Jim in Carrickfergus wrote (139 days ago):
Bring back Ronnie Flanagan
Big G in The East wrote (139 days ago):
It dosent matter whos in charge ,your dammed if you do and your dammed if you dont , let me remind everyone ,when something BAD happens everyone even the police haters call them when they need help ,they dont complain about them too much then ,i rest my case
realistic in belfast wrote (139 days ago):
Re john, thats a very one sided accusation, seeing as a firm head in the police should crack down on paramilitarys altogether, bang up all criminals past and present no matter the current status of work, on both "sides"! No head of police has had the guts yet, tackle the past head on, lock them up for the two years as agreed in good friday agreement and get the answers out, because it seems all to often the atrocities of the ira are jst summed up with no justice!
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