Change at the top at Thames Valley Police

There is a change at the top at Thames Valley Police as outgoing chief constable Francis Habgood is replaced at the helm by John Campbell.

Monday, 1st April 2019, 11:04 am
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 12:26 pm
Outgoing Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Francis Habgood

Mr Habgood is retiring after 32 years as a police officer having joined the Thames Valley force 15 years ago as a chief officer.

He has held the top post for the past four years and stood down yesterday (Sunday).

He said: “When I became chief constable of Thames Valley Police I said that I was both proud and privileged to lead the force.

Outgoing Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Francis Habgood

"Four years later, as I leave policing, I remain both proud and privileged.

"The really important thing about being chief constable is always remembering who we are here to serve – the public – so any decision we make must have the interests of our communities at the absolute forefront.

“We should also remember the people who work and volunteer for policing.

"As chief constable it has been my role to make sure I lead them but also to make decisions to enable them to deliver the best possible service.”

Thames Valley Police's new Chief Constable John Campbell

After graduating from Newcastle University in June 1986, Mr Habgood joined West Yorkshire Police in January 1987, where he patrolled the streets in north and central Leeds for five years.

He rose through the ranks and departed West Yorkshire Police as divisional commander for the north west area of Leeds, joining Thames Valley as assistant chief constable in 2004 leading across all portfolios.

From there he became deputy chief constable in 2008, and then chief constable in 2015.

Mr Habgood added: “I would like to thank the public of the Thames Valley for your support – which has been invaluable.

"Thank you very much.”

Anthony Stansfeld, police and crime commissioner for the Thames Valley said: “Francis has made an incredible contribution to Thames Valley Police and has led the force through some significant challenges.

"It has been a pleasure to work with him to help protect the people of the Thames Valley.

“During his tenure TVP has been, according to Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary, the best performing large police force in the country.

"A great part of that has been due to his leadership.

"I thank him for his dedication and service.”

Deputy PCC Matthew Barber added: “The impact that Francis has had on the force is undeniable.

"He is highly regarded and well respected by officers and the public across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

"We should all be grateful for his contribution to tackling crime and ensuring community safety.

"I wish him a very happy retirement.”

Mr Habgood is replaced at the top by John Campbell, who has been deputy chief constable of the Thames Valley force since 2015.

He has 30 years police service across three forces, has held operational and command roles across a number of disciplines, including criminal investigation, specialist operations and local policing.

Chief Constable Campbell said: “Thames Valley Police is already recognised for its good work and going forward I want to deliver an excellent service and be regarded as an outstanding police force, by the communities we serve.

"I would like to see us continue to build on the superb work of my predecessor Francis Habgood, who I wish a very happy retirement.

“Key areas to focus on are working hard to stop crime happening in the first place and preventing harm, particularly against the most vulnerable in our communities.

"Then if people do call us at their time of greatest need, making sure we have really good call handling and where necessary get help to them swiftly and where crimes have occurred bring more offenders to justice.”

Chief Constable Campbell is an experienced operational commander who joined the force in 2010.

As a chief officer in the Thames Valley he was responsible for the policing of the Olympic events, including the torch relay on its journey across the south east.

He also led the multi-agency response to the flooding in Oxfordshire and Berkshire in 2014 and has commanded numerous firearms and public order events.

He leads the national policing response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents and attacks.

Chief Constable Campbell added: “I will continue to keep the needs of the communities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire at the forefront of any decisions I make.

"When things are at their worst for people, I want us to be at our very best.”