Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen has extended Durham Constabulary’s Chief Constable Jo Farrell’s contract by three years to ensure continuity of leadership in what is acknowledged as a challenging period for policing.
PCC Joy Allen said: “Jo has been an inspirational leader of Durham Constabulary since taking up the role in 2019 during which time the force has faced a number of challenges, including policing the Pandemic and the changing face of criminality.
“I’m delighted that she has agreed to this contract extension. It removes uncertainty, brings continuity of leadership in times of challenge and change and enables future planning to be undertaken with confidence.
“Jo is quite frankly an inspirational Chief Constable, respected throughout the force, my own office, our many partners and indeed across the whole force area.
“Since my election she has demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities, evidenced by the positive outcome of the recent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS); progress of the new investigative hub which will give improved investigative performance and long-term estate resilience, and ongoing practical demonstration of the Force’s values.
“Her commitment to the delivery of my Police and Crime Plan will bring sustainable benefits to communities across the area, already we are witnessing service improvements and greater visibility. I am delighted that she has agreed to this contract extension which is good news for the entire workforce and the wider community.”
CC Jo Farrell added: “It is a privilege to serve as Chief Constable of Durham and I would like to thank the PCC for the opportunity to continue the work which we have started and see through those changes which will make County Durham and Darlington a safer place for all.”
The extension will take effect from the expiry of the Chief Constable’s current contract on 9 June 2024 until 9 June 2027. The Commissioner will inform members of the Police and Crime Panel, at a meeting to be held on 23 June, of her decision.
When she was promoted to the role of Chief Constable in June 2019, Jo Farrell became the first woman to hold the post in the force’s 180-year history.
Within months she was faced with steering the force’s response to the unprecedented challenge of policing the pandemic and protecting the public through the most testing of times.
Throughout her three years at the helm, Durham Constabulary has placed a renewed focus on tackling high harm offences such as violent crime, sexual offences and domestic abuse. Most recently, the force launched a campaign of action to reduce crime and fear of crime among women and girls, including a radical new approach to the investigation of rape and serious sexual offences.
The force, which was rated outstanding for efficiency in its most recent HMICFRS inspection, has additionally recruited extra officers, reorganised officers’ shift patterns and invested in a new investigations hub under construction at Spennymoor. The combined effect of the changes will mean dozens more officers are available to police the streets of communities across County Durham and Darlington.