A FAMILIAR face has returned to Cheshire Constabulary to take the reins as the new Assistant Chief Constable.
Sarah Boycott has been an officer with the Constabulary for the past 24 years, working her way from the rank of Constable up to Chief Superintendent. She has spent the past year on secondment at HMIC (Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary), and now returns home to take up her post as Assistant Chief Constable.
Her arrival follows the retirement of ACC Guy Hindle, who bid a fond farewell to friends and colleagues on Friday following 30 years’ service. She will fill the role on a temporary basis until a permanent appointment is made.
She said: “Being away from Cheshire makes you really appreciate how good this force is. We have lots of excellent people who are committed and keen to make a difference to our communities, which is very close to my heart.
“My priority is to ensure we are there for our communities, encouraging them to participate in policing and helping us focus on the issues that matter locally. I want to continue the fantastic work already in place and build our partnership with local communities and the agencies we work with locally to make Cheshire a very difficult place for those committing crime and anti-social behaviour to operate.”
Sarah was born and raised in the Nantwich area and joined the Constabulary in 1992 where she was assigned to her local beat in Crewe. Four years later she moved into police training and, after 12 months, was promoted to sergeant before winning a place on the national Accelerated Promotion Scheme.
She has spent most of her career in a variety of frontline operational roles, interspersed with more specialist positions. From 2009, Sarah worked in Northern part of the Force area, latterly as area commander. She was integral to the development of the new neighbourhood policing model, before her secondment to HMIC last year.
She is Chair of the Cheshire Women's Network, and is committed to supporting women to be the best they can be and to have an influential voice in policing.
Sarah also brings worldwide experience into her new role. Career highlights include leading the team planning and implementing the UN policing operation for the Darfur conflict in the Sudan during a two-year secondment with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, based in New York.
She said: “I've had the benefit during the last year of seeing how policing across the whole of England and Wales is operating, an insight into what is working well and where improvements need to be made. Good leadership is key to positioning a force well for the future and making sure it is delivering efficiency and effectively. I'm keen to bring the knowledge I've gained over the last year back to Cheshire.”
She added: “Policing is never simply plain sailing, and Cheshire is no different. I'm looking forward to coming back to an operational role with the challenges that come from unexpected incidents. I want to make sure we are supporting our officers and staff to be the best they can be and deliver the best possible service.
“It was fantastic to see the success the force has had, especially in the recent PEEL inspections, but of course there's more we can do. From listening to victims, communities and my own personal experiences it's about focusing on the individual and their circumstances, which I'm determined to see us achieve.”