Chief Constable To Retire

Julie Spence has confirmed that she is to retire as Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police.

After five years in charge, the 54 year old has said she plans to retire from the force in September. Mrs Spence, who is also president of the British Association for Women in Policing, says she planned to spend more time with her husband John.

Mrs Spence, who sits on the Association of Chief Police Officers cabinet, will end her policing career on September 5. In a statement released to Heart she said: "It has been an extraordinary privilege to lead Cambridgeshire Constabulary
over the past five years on a journey to improve the service we give to the people of Cambridgeshire,''

"It has without doubt been the highlight of my 32 year career and I believe the county now has a force it can be proud of. I feel the time is right to hand over the reins to someone else to guide the force through the next part of the journey.'' 

During her time at the force, Mrs Spence made some controversial comments. In February she was criticised after saying officers could not attend every emergency call - and most people did not expect them to.

In September 2007, she called for the more Government cash to cope with policing problems posed by an influx of migrant workers following the broadening of the European Union. She said parts of Cambridgeshire had become a staging post for immigrants - partly because farm work was readily available - and more officers were needed.

The effect of immigration growth seeped into all areas of policing, she said. She said foreigners got into difficulties because they were unfamiliar with traffic laws; investigations into crime could involve trips abroad to interview relatives; and police had also noticed a growth in prostitution, driven by the influx of large numbers of single men. Bills for interpreters employed to help police process suspects and question witnesses had shot up, she added.

Mrs Spence received an OBE in 2006 and was given the Queen's Policing Medal in the 2010 New Year's Honours. Her policing career began in 1978 when she joined Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

She joined the Cambridgeshire force in 2004 as deputy chief constable and became chief constable in 2005.

The police authority has six months to find a replacement for Mrs Spence.<