Lancashire Police's new chief constable Chris Rowley 'passionate' to lead the county’s force

Lancashire’s new police chief has talked about his pride of becoming the leader of one of the ‘best performing forces in the country.

Lancashire’s new Chief Constable has spoken of his pride as he today takes the helm of the county’s police force.

Chris Rowley, 52, has taken over from departing chief Andy Rhodes, who is retiring after 30 years with Lancashire Constabulary, with the last four years in the top role.

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Mr Rowley has become the top police officer in Lancashire following a promotion from his previous role of deputy chief constable of Humberside Police, a post he had held since 2017.

Lancashire's new chief constable Chris Rowley

Ch Con Rowley, who is married with two grown up sons, has spent most of his police career in West Yorkshire, and has amassed 28 and a half years’ service working mainly in local policing and crime.

Before being promoted to temporary assistant chief constable at South Yorkshire, Chris was head of the West Yorkshire Police Protective Services Crime Department and head of the

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Regional Organised Crime Unit for Yorkshire and the Humber, where he dealt with some of the most serious and complex crimes facing the force and the county.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Chris was appointed as deputy chief constable of Humberside Police in October 2017, leading a broad and challenging portfolio.”

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Speaking about his appointment to Lancashire Constabulary, Ch Con Rowley said: “I am passionate about delivering the best possible service to our communities and to victims of crime; that’s our core business and I am looking forward to building on the excellent work that Andy Rhodes and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Clive Grunshaw have developed over many years.

“My role is to serve and support the officers, staff and the communities of Lancashire.

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“I have a clear ambition to find long term sustainable partnership-based solutions, which will reduce crime and deliver the aims and objectives of the ‘Police and Crime Plan’.”

“Wherever I go, people always speak so highly of the force and its people. I have always held Lancashire in high regard and consider it a real privilege to serve as Chief Constable.”

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Andy Rhodes announced his intentions to step down in July last year and said he felt it was ‘the right time’.

He spent his entire career with the force, having started out in Blackpool in 1991. He was appointed chief superintendent in 2006.

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During his time in charge, Ch Con Rhodes was responsible for overseeing the high profile policing operation at the Preston New Road fracking site, as well as the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nationally, he has led the National Police Chiefs Council’s wellbeing portfolio.

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Ch Con Rhodes said last year: “I am fast approaching 30 years’ service and I felt that now was the right time to let the police and crime commissioner know my intentions about my plans to retire.”

Mr Rowley was Lancashire PCC Clive Grunshaw’s preferred candidate and was announced in December.

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Mr Grunshaw said: “It is an honour and a privilege as Police and Crime Commissioner to be able to appoint the Chief Constable and it is one of the biggest decisions I will make and I’m delighted to select Chris Rowley as my preferred candidate.

“I want to again thank the current Chief Constable Andy Rhodes for his commitment to policing and keeping people safe, where he has always had the best interests of the people of Lancashire at the heart of his actions.”