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West Midlands police chief Chris Sims to retire

West Midlands police chief Chris Sims to retire

🕔17.Jun 2015

West Midlands Police chief constable Chris Sims is to leave the force early next year.

The announcement of Sims’ retirement was confirmed today by police and crime commissioner David Jamieson, who will be in charge of appointing a successor.

Describing Mr Sims as “an outstanding chief constable who has served with distinction”, Mr Jamieson said:

Today is about thanking a dedicated public servant, but is also the start of a process to select a new chief constable to carry on Chris Sims’ excellent work and guide the force through the next era of policing

Over the coming weeks I shall set out a timeline for how I will choose the next Chief Constable of West Midlands Police.

Chris Sims will not be leaving the force until early next year, though we hope to have a chief constable selected before then to work with him and myself through the transition period.

Mr Sims was already West Midlands chief constable when the force’s first police commissioner, Bob Jones, was elected in 2012. He was reappointed by Mr Jamieson last year.

His successor will be the first West Midlands chief constable to be appointed by a PCC.

Mr Sims became West Midlands chief constable in 2009. He began his policing career in 1980 with the Metropolitan Police and went on to become chief constable of Staffordshire in 2007 before moving to Birmingham two years later.

Latterly his time in charge at the West Midlands has been characterised by severe cuts to police funding forcing more than 2,000 redundancies among officers and civilian staff.

His watch included the Birmingham city council Trojan Horse scandal, where hardline Islamists joined school governing bodies intending to impose an ultra-conservative ethos on pupils. West Midlands police investigated the Trojan Horse letters setting out plans to infiltrate schools but concluded that no crimes had been committed.

One of the most controversial developments during Mr Sims’ period in charge was Project Champion in 2011 when the force installed over 200 surveillance cameras in largely Muslim parts of Birmingham. The cameras were removed following a public outcry.

Commenting on his retirement, Mr Sims said:

It’s been a fantastic privilege to lead this force through six challenging years. I want to reassure people that I will use the remaining time I have in West Midlands Police to make sure the transition to the next chief constable is as smooth as possible and that we don’t take any break on our journey to being the best force in the country.

The announcement comes as Mr Sims outlines a programme of work designed to change the face of policing in the West Midlands by 2020.

The WMP2020 plan features a raft of projects that will embrace new technology, enable the force to respond more quickly to emerging crime trends and introduce new ways for the public to contact the force. Mr Sims said:

I never deluded myself that with something as big and strategic as the blueprint that I would be around to see the end point.

But for me the next best thing is to ensure we have a clear delivery plan and confidence that the work is going to happen and will make the difference we need.

Deputy West Midlands police and crime commissioner Yvonne Mosquito said:

Chris Sims has been a first rate Chief Constable who has served the West Midlands diligently since 2009. I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life and thank him for all he has done for the West Midlands.

He has been an inspirational, innovative and independent force for good for policing. He is one of, if not the best Chief Constable in the country and I wish him well with his future endeavours.

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