Alec Wood likely to be confirmed as Cambs chief constable but former county council leader raises concern over ‘lack of transparency’

Alec Wood, in line to become chief constable

Alec Wood, in line to become chief constable - Credit: Archant

A policeman with an MA in Criminology - who joined the police force 29 years ago- is set to become chief constable of Cambridgeshire.

Alec Wood has been deputy chief constable for the past two years but has now been recommended for the top job following the departure of Simon Parr.

Police commissioner Sir Graham Bright has led the recruitment drive to replace Mr Parr and revealed last night he would be recommending to the police and crime panel that the appointment is confirmed.

“I would like to congratulate Alec on reaching this milestone in the recruitment process.” said Sir Graham.

“In the meantime Alec will continue in his role as temporary chief constable and I look forward to continue to work with him in this capacity.”

When he joined Cambs police in 2013 he said: “I want to be as visible as I can be to as many people as possible. I will get across the county and meet, listen to and talk to as many people as I can to get the best possible understanding of the issues we face.”

Mr Wood’s main police service has been for Lincolnshire police, which he joined in 1986, serving in both uniform and CID roles. He was a senior investigating officer for a number of years and also the head of crime, during which time he oversaw a number of complex murder and serious crime investigations.

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He has also served as a chief superintendent, divisional commander and assistant chief constable.

The appointment process has not been all plain sailing – former county council leader Nick Clarke has questioned aspects of it with the chairman of the police and crime panel.

“I am concerned that about the lack of transparency surrounding the appointment of the new chief constable,” said Mr Clarke, now a UKIP activist.

“Whilst I am sure Sir Graham Bright will remain within the letter of the regulations he appears to be very far from presiding over an open, engaging process that might benefit from public scrutiny.

“I am uncertain why your committee has not pushed much harder for more transparency and would urge you to flex your muscles in this regard.”

Sir Graham said the appointment is subject to a “public confirmation hearing” to be arranged by his police and crime panel.