New Chief Constable takes the reins at Cambridgeshire

A NEW Chief Constable has taken the helm at Cambridgeshire Police in the midst of a financial “Armageddon”.

Simon Parr was sworn into office this week during one of the most difficult periods in the force’s history.

At his attestation ceremony on Monday (September 6), Mr Parr said: “It is a real honour to be given the opportunity to serve the people of Cambridgeshire and build on the successful work of Julie Spence.”

But top of his in-tray is the perilous task of cutting �9 million from the constabulary’s budget by next April, as well as a possible �33 million over the next four years.

Ringing in his ears will be the words of his predecessor Julie Spence, who said chopping 40 per cent from the police budget would leave the county with an “anorexic front line” and warned: “The police service you see today would not be the police service you see in the future.”

Mr Parr, previously Deputy Chief Constable at Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “I know there are challenging times ahead but I am sure that with the dedication of my staff and close working relationships with partner agencies, we can continue to ensure Cambridgeshire is a safe place to live, work and visit.

“At the forefront of this work is a need to give the public a good service and value for money.”

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The 49-year-old’s staff are already reeling after they were forced to make “unprecedented and unexpected” savings totalling �1.2 million earlier this year.

Under the worst case scenario, Mr Parr faces losing the equivalent of 1,200 officers.

However Cambridgeshire Police Authority chairman Ruth Rogers says Mr Parr’s 27 years of police service make him the right man for the job.

“We’re delighted to welcome Simon to Cambridgeshire Constabulary at a time that will be both interesting and demanding and look forward to seeing the Constabulary continue to flourish under his leadership,” she said.

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