WARWICKSHIRE’S chief constable has been named as the first head of Britain’s new National Crime Agency (NCA).
Keith Bristow, a former director of the National Crime Intelligence Service, was appointed by Home Secretary Theresa May MP from a shortlist of four senior officers, including a deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
He has been drafted into the role after the previous frontrunner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, was appointed Metropolitan Police commissioner following the resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson during the phone-hacking affair.
Warwickshire Police Authority chairman Phil Robson paid tribute to Chief Constable Bristow’s achievement.
He said: “We are delighted that the Home Secretary has appointed our chief constable to lead the NCA, which will play an important role alongside all police forces and other agencies in the UK in protecting local communities.
“Keith Bristow was appointed as Chief Constable in 2006 and has transformed Warwickshire Police both organisationally and operationally during the past five years. Under his leadership Warwickshire Police has reduced all crime by 27.6 per cent.”
Mr Bristow remains chief constable at this time and the police authority will discuss future leadership arrangements at its next full meeting on October 19.
Mr Bristow said: “The NCA will protect people from harm by tackling serious, organised and complex crime.
“In partnership with other law enforcement agencies we will ensure that criminals are identified, pursued and brought to justice, their groups dismantled and their activities disrupted. We will do even more to strip away their illegally obtained assets.
The new agency is due to begin work formally in 2013 to replace the Serious Organised Crime Agency, but Mr Bristow insists the transition will be smooth.
He said: “Officers and staff from existing agencies that will become part of the NCA are already working hard to tackle serious, organised and complex crime and new approaches and capabilities will become operational before 2013 to cut crime and protect our borders.