Dorset’s new Chief Constable has promised that she will not be ripping up existing policing plans and starting again.
Amanda Pearson, who has lived in the Ferndown area for the past 12 years, has been confirmed by the county’s police and crime panel for the top Dorset Police job, switching from being temporary assistant commissioner with the metropolitan police.
She has worked, over 29 years, in a number of forces, including tiny St Helena island, and is the chief constables national lead for ‘stop and search’ operations – an area where Dorset’s figures have in the past been recognised as in need of improvement, disproportionately stopping a high percentage of people from non-white backgrounds.
She told the county’s police and crime panel at a meeting in Dorchester that she wanted to see no area in Dorset where people felt unsafe.
“A lot of hard work and passion has gone into developing a police and crime plan…there is momentum across the force, there are good plans in place and good people in place committed to to delivering them.
“I want to assure you I am not going to turn everything upside down and start again. It’s the last thing the staff and the people of Dorset need. We’re not in a crisis, we’re in a good place with solid foundations,” she said.
Ms Pearson said that she had wanted to be a police officer since the age of 14 and still felt a passion to serve and improve things for local communities, describing the move of her husband and two boys to Dorset as one of the best decisions she had made.
“It has been my ambition to be Chief of my home patch and I’m delighted by the prospect of doing so…I’m personally invested in the people of Dorset having the very best Chief Constable they can.”
She said that in her early weeks she would visit as many staff, civilian officers and volunteers as she could to get a feel about how they saw the force developing and offering the chance to make suggestions about any improvements which might be needed and to help them ‘thrive and develop.’
She said there should already be pride in the fact that Dorset was the 6th lowest crime rate area in the country but said she would not be complacent about that standing and would seek to strengthen the impact of the police in local communities.
“It’s important that people also feel safe …. It’s our responsibly, we can’t leave areas across the county where people feel unsafe,” she said, “I am invested in getting Dorset the very best policing it deserves.”
She will replace Scott Chilton in the role as he moves to Hampshire to take up the Chief Constable’s role there.
Tributes were paid to Mr Chilton for his work in Dorset by both panel members and the police and crime commissioner, David Sidwick