Policing Board appoints next Chief Constable

24 May 2019

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has unanimously agreed to ratify the recommendation of the Appointment Panel to appoint Simon Byrne QPM as Chief Constable following the retirement of George Hamilton at the end of June 2019.

Speaking about the appointment, Board Chair Anne Connolly said:

“I am pleased to confirm that Simon Byrne QPM is the successful candidate from this competition.

Policing is one of Northern Ireland’s most important public services with the community rightly expecting the highest standards from its officers and staff.

Mr Byrne brings a wealth of strategic and operational policing experience to the role  - he has 36 years of policing experience, 21 years as a Chief Officer serving the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and 3 years as a Chief Constable of Cheshire Police.  We are looking forward to working with him in further developing the PSNI as a highly professional and community focused organisation.

With this leadership position carrying significant organisational responsibilities the appointment necessarily comprised a rigorous selection process involving a panel of seven Board Members.  Based on the key principles of merit, fairness, openness and transparency, independent scrutiny was incorporated at all stages of the competition to provide added probity and assurance.

The recommendation of the appointment panel was unanimously ratified by the Board at a special meeting and was subject to approval by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.


Notes to Editors

  1. Biography: Simon Byrne QPM is the  former Chief Constable of Cheshire Police from 2014 to 2017. He was the Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police from 2009 to 2011 and the Assistant Commissioner for Territorial Policing in the Metropolitan Police Service from 2011 to 2014. He then served as Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary from 2014 to 2017.

Mr Byrne began his career in the police when he joined the Metropolitan Police Service as a constable in 1982. He transferred to Merseyside Police in 1985 and served as the commander of the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley between 2002 and 2004.

In 2006, he was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable and joined the Association of Chief Police Officers. Within Merseyside Police he served as ACC Operations and ACC Personnel. In February 2009, he transferred to Greater Manchester Police, becoming Deputy Chief Constable. In 2011, he returned to the Metropolitan Police Service as the Assistant Commissioner for Territorial Policing.

On 24 February 2014, he was selected as the next Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary.

Mr Byrne was awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) in the 2016 New Year Honours.

2.    Appointment panel comprised Board Chair Anne Connolly, John Blair MLA, Alan Chambers MLA, Linda Dillon MLA, Colm McKenna, Wendy Osborne and Mervyn Storey MLA.  The panel received specialist independent Human Resources selection and appointment advice to support the design, delivery and quality assurance of the Chief Constable process. Sara Thornton, former Head of the National Police Chief’s Council and recently appointed independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, acted as External Policing Advisor to the appointment panel.

3.    The appointment was made by the Northern Ireland Policing Board in line with Section 35 (1) of the Police (NI) Act 2000. The Chief Constable appointment was subject to approval by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in accordance with Section 5 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/28/enacted/data.htm)   

4.    The PSNI Chief Constable salary is £207,489 plus benefits in line with recommendations by the Police Remuneration Review Body and set by the Department of Justice. The appointment will be for a fixed term of five years with the possibility of extension in accordance with legislation.  The Board will now finalise contractual arrangements and the start date.

Notes ends