The Durham and Darlington Police and Crime Panel has confirmed the new Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary.

Jo Farrell, who is currently Deputy Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, has this week been confirmed as its new Chief Constable, making her the first female chief in the force’s history.

Meeting at County Hall, the Police and Crime Panel unanimously recommended approval of the Office of the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner’s proposed appointment of Deputy Chief Constable Farrell.

She will take over the role from the current Chief Constable Mike Barton when he retires at the end of this week.

Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Chair of the Police and Crime Panel, said: “The panel was impressed with the quality of the answers provided by Deputy Chief Constabulary Jo Farrell and the breadth of her experience and was, therefore, pleased to endorse her appointment.”

The Police and Crime Panel is made up of elected members from Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council, alongside to co-opted independent members.