The next Chief Constable… is George Hamilton

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  Having “unanimously” agreed to appoint Matt Baggott as PSNI Chief Constable in 2009 for his strong advocacy of “community-style policing”, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, or its party political members, might be said to be experiencing buyer’s regret.

Alternatively, those same political parties have undermined the outgoing Chief Constable throughout his tenure by putting their own party political concerns ahead of the ‘greater good’ – by word, and by deed.  [“ahem* – Ed].

ANYhoo… with Matt Baggott announcing his departure earlier this year, the NI Policing Board now faces the prospect of appointing nominating his successor.   And, having rejected the NI Justice Minister’s offer to widen the potential pool of candidates, they now have three different police officers on the shortlist – from which one name will be recommended to the Justice Minister.

Not that we didn’t know the shortlist before the elections, it just wasn’t widely reported at the time…

ANYhoo… [Again?! – Ed]  ANYHOO…  Here is that shortlist again, this time from BBC NI’s Home Affairs Correspondent Vincent Kearney’s report.

Derek Byrne

Dubliner Derek Byrne was appointed assistant commissioner of An Garda Síochána (Irish police) in 2007.

He joined the force in 1979 and served at Clones, County Monaghan and Cabra and Blanchardstown in Dublin.

Promotions to sergeant, inspector, superintendent, chief superintendent followed, before his appointment as an assistant commissioner.

He initially served in the northern region as assistant commissioner, working alongside the PSNI in some investigations before moving to National Support Services in October 2008.

In 2010, Mr Byrne jointly led an internal investigation into allegations of garda misconduct made by the high-profile whistleblower, Sgt Maurice McCabe.

However, earlier this month, an independent review of the force’s handling of Mr McCabe’s allegations criticised Mr Byrne’s report, concluding there was “cause for concern as to the adequacy of the investigation” that he had jointly overseen.

The Guerin Report stated: “There is a sufficient basis for concern as to whether all appropriate steps were taken by An Garda Siochana to investigate and address the specified complaints.”

Mr Byrne is currently completing a masters degree in Violence, Terrorism and Security at Queen’s University Belfast.

He has previously received qualifications from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia; Harvard University, John Jay College, New York and New Scotland Yard anti-terrorist branch.

Cressida Dick

Cressida Dick is an Assistant Commissioner with the Metropolitan Police

Oxford-born Cressida Dick is assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and a recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal.

An Oxford graduate, Ms Dick joined the Metropolitan Police in 1983. Within 10 years she had been promoted to chief inspector.

She completed a Master’s in criminology at Cambridge University, returning to policing in 2001.

She received the specialist ‘shoot-to-kill’ firearms training that qualified her to head terror alert operations in the wake of 7/7.

Her role in the police operation that culminated in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005 attracted criticism, though she was cleared of blame for his death in 2007.

In July 2011, Ms Dick was appointed assistant commissioner, specialist operations. She also held the rank of acting deputy commissioner for a time.

George Hamilton

George Hamilton is an Assistant Chief Constable with the PSNI

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton is currently responsible for District Policing Rural, which covers an area of approximately 11,700 square kilometres of Northern Ireland and a population of approximately 900,000.

He joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1985 and as a detective chief inspector and detective superintendent was involved in a number of high profile investigations.

He was chief superintendent and district commander for south and east Belfast before being appointed assistant chief constable of Strathclyde police in 2009.

He returned to the PSNI in 2011 and also served in England and Wales between 1994 and 1997.

On his return to Northern Ireland in 1997 he became involved with the Patten Commission.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics and Economics and a Masters in Business Administration. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Association.

[Does the bunny get a vote? – Ed]  No.

Update  And, according to the latest BBC report, the next Chief Constable will be former RUC chief superintendent and district commander, and current PSNI assistant chief constable, George Hamilton.

[He’s not… from the Dark Side?! – Ed]  Probably not…

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  • Morpheus

    Reports that Hamilton got it

  • snow white

    This will be lost in the Anna Lo V Peter Robinson row. I hope George Hamilton knows what he is getting into!

  • redstar2011

    So they have opted for old school bigotry as opposed to the new spin about equality fairness etc

    Roll on marching season as we watch Shinners attempt to squirm away from supporting this

    Gary D- you wont be the only elected traditional Republican for long!!!

  • belfastboyo

    Hopefully he is not as week and a walkover like the last excuse for a chief constable.
    Whether, rioting, flags on lampposts or general thuggery.

    LAW ARE ORDER are what the public expects!

  • Zeno

    [He’s not… from the Dark Side?!

    Borrowing a phrase from Patrick Murphy (I think) Irish News.
    Let’s hope he isn’t from the “not too bright side” either. We have all surely met some of them.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Bit overweight, not a good image for an officer of the law.

  • Mick Fealty

    A lot of cards going out tonight I see… for the record, here’s Martin’s support for the appointment…

  • David Crookes

    Best wishes to the new CC.

    Since GH is the fourth substantive holder of the post of PSNI chief constable, we can expect him to become known as George Hamilton IV.

  • Reader

    I’m confused about the carding policy here. is “weak and watery” a worse form of man-playing than “old school bigotry”?

  • Jagdip

    I would have been shocked if the Shinners on the Board had supported the candidacy of the Irish assistant commissioner Derek Byrne, who, as alluded to above, was the target of controversy in the recent Guerin report (though the whistleblower’s allegations of assault and false imprisonment were not accepted by the DPP). The whistleblowers have received wholehearted support from SF in the South, and to then, in the North, support Derek Byrne would have caused them huge difficulties.

    Anyway, a big welcome to CC George Hamilton, may he build on the new and innovative style of policing promoted by his predecessor.

    Unfortunately Matt Baggott doesn’t appear to be in the running for the vacant Commissioner role in the South; such a pity, he is a remarkably brilliant policeman. We might be lucky if Judith Gillespie applies, she was not qualified for the top NI job because of her lack of outside experience. She would make a terrific commissioner in the South.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    The Guards need a serious kick up the hole. Gillespie might be a breath of fresh air.

  • streetlegal

    The Fourth.