Kent's New Chief Constable Starts Work

8 July 2010, 00:00 | Updated: 8 July 2010, 06:35

The new man in charge of Kent Police has started work this week and says there will be "challenging but exciting times ahead".

Ian Learmonth takes over from Temporary Chief Constable Adrian Leppard who's been in charge since former Chief Constable Michael Fuller left in March.

Mr Learmonth said: 'I am delighted to be joining Kent and think there will be challenging but exciting times ahead.

'I am coming to the force at a time of change, with budget cuts being made and a review of the force structure taking place.  However, I am confident Kent Police can move towards a positive future, with frontline service continuing to be of the utmost importance and the views of Kent Police officers and staff, along with Kent residents, being properly considered at all times.'

Ian Learmonth is 52 and from Ellingham in Norfolk, where he served as Deputy Chief Constable for three years.  He will be relocating to Kent in the near future.

Mr Learmonth began his career with Essex Police as a cadet in 1974, before joining the regular force in 1976.  He spent 28 years there, before he joined Strathclyde Police as Assistant Chief Constable, where he had responsibility for support services, roads policing, emergency planning and most major projects within operational policing.

He was Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Police from August 2007 to June 2010.

Mr Learmonth added: 'I have a lot to learn about Kent but I see that as an exciting prospect.  I will be working closely with the Kent Police Authority and our partner agencies in the county, as well as numerous key officers and staff already in the force. 

'My ambition is to move Kent forward from being a good well-respected force to a force which is delivering an outstanding service to people in Kent and Medway.'

Ann Barnes, Chair of the Kent Police Authority said: 'I'm really pleased that our new Chief Constable has now officially joined Kent Police. Ian will bring a wide range of experience and knowledge from over 30 years of policing. His links with Essex Police can only strengthen our collaboration work further.

'I'm really looking forward to working with Ian during what is going to be a very difficult and challenging time for the police service. Both the Authority and the new Chief Constable are going to have to make some tough decisions on the back of the savings we will need to make. But I'm confident that together, we will do this in a way that will provide the best possible policing service.'

Click here to listen to the interview with Chief Constable Ian Learmonth