Preferred Candidate Named for South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has announced Lauren Poultney as his ‘preferred candidate’ to be the next Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police.

The decision is subject to scrutiny by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, which will meet on Monday 11 June. The Panel will be asked to consider the decision and to endorse it.

Ms Poultney was identified as the preferred candidate following a rigorous and challenging two-day selection process.

She was appointed to the role of Deputy Chief Constable in April and took on the role of Temporary Chief Constable last week following the departure of Chief Constable Stephen Watson to Greater Manchester Police. She had joined the force as Assistant Chief Constable in 2017 from Humberside Police.

A police officer for 23 years, Ms Poultney has undertaken both uniformed and detective roles in a range of areas, including neighbourhood policing, major crime and protecting vulnerable people. Nationally she has led on Problem Solving and Demand Reduction and is the Chair of the College of Policing Guideline Committee on Problem Solving.

Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, said: “I am delighted to announce Lauren Poultney as my preferred candidate to be the new Chief Constable of South Yorkshire.

“Lauren joined SYP as an Assistant Chief Constable in 2017 and has been a key member of the successful Senior Leadership Team that has brought the force to be one of the top performing forces in the country.

“The assessment process was rigorous and demanding and Lauren demonstrated that she had the skills and experience we need. She particularly understands what is needed to take South Yorkshire Police forward in the next stage of its journey to being an outstanding force across all areas.

“She understands that the task now is not to rescue a poorly performing force but to further improve a force that is performing well.

“I am confident that she will ensure that South Yorkshire remains a safe place to live, work and learn, that victims of crime will be well supported and that the force continues its strong partnership working to prevent crime.”

“This will be the second time I have appointed a Chief Constable and I have no doubt that the leadership Lauren Poultney will bring, though different from her predecessor, Stephen Watson, will be equally successful.”

Ms Poultney said: “I am delighted to have been announced as the preferred candidate for the role of Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police.”

“South Yorkshire Police has undertaken a huge transformation to become the Force it is today and I am confident it has the potential to progress further with the clear plan we have set out. We remain committed to becoming an ‘outstanding’ police force in all areas, and having witnessed the calibre of its people, I firmly believe the force has what it takes.

“Our communities have the right to expect the highest standard of service from the police not only in their hour of need, but in preventing harm. If granted the role by the Police and Crime Panel, I would be honoured to lead the Force through the final steps required to deliver on this aim.”

Ms Poultney is married and has one child. She also has two dogs.

The Chief Constable will have a five-year contract until 2026.

The Police and Crime Panel will be asked to endorse the Police and Crime Commissioner’s decision at a hearing on 11 June at Barnsley Town Hall. Membership of the Panel will be confirmed once the South Yorkshire local authorities have held their inaugural meetings and confirmed appointments of members to their committees and panels following the elections earlier this month.