Roll out the old, bring in the new as Cambridgeshire’s deputy chief constable confronts challenges

Alec Wood, deputy chief constable of Cambridgeshire police

Alec Wood, deputy chief constable of Cambridgeshire police - Credit: Archant

A NEW deputy chief constable has promised to be as visible as possible to members of the public as he aims to be honest and open about the challenges his force faces.

Alec Wood has taken over this week as deputy to Cambridgeshire police chief constable Simon Parr, having previously served as temporary deputy chief constable in Lincolnshire.

The 48-year-old, who is married with a grown-up daughter and son, said his role as deputy would be to enable the force to provide policing services in the “most efficient and effective way it can”, adding: “I will always be honest and open about the position the force is in.

“If there difficult messages to give people, I will not shrink away from giving them.”

In recent years cuts to the police force budget have forced it on a drive to save both time and money, with even the earliest savings of £1.2m in 2010 being described as “unprecedented and unexpected” by Mr Wood’s predecessor, John Feavyour.

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Over the past couple of years Mr Feavyour has warned that the cutbacks meant risking extensive staffing reductions, as 80pc of the constabulary’s budget is spent on personnel.

However on arriving at the force, Mr Wood said: “I do not see many other forces with similar funding issues identifying such a clear and transformational way of solving the funding problem and that makes Cambridgeshire Constabulary different.”

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In particular he said the force’s programme to find use technology to help save money had been “properly thought out”, adding: “I will be looking for ways to support its delivery, making sure it continues to head in the right direction.”

He also said: “The fundamental purpose of policing is to deliver the best possible service to the public to keep them safe and protect the most vulnerable.

“I am passionate about the service we provide and my role as DCC is to enable the force to provide that service in the most efficient and effective way it can.

“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.

He has also served as a chief superintendent, divisional commander and assistant chief constable. Mr Wood, who has a MA in criminology, is the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead for behavioural science.

“I have joined a force where I think I can make a difference and where I believe in the leadership which is being provided by the Chief Constable and the rest of the chief officer team.”, he said.

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