In a recurring theme for Lincolnshire Police, Chief Constable Chris Haward has announced his retirement, set for February 2024, after serving for three years in the role. This departure mirrors that of his predecessor, Bill Skelly, who also concluded his role as Chief Constable after a three-year period.
Chris Haward's (pictured at the top) decision to step down comes as he prepares to embrace a new challenge with the National Police Chief’s Council, where he will tackle Serious and Organised Crime as the UK Coordinator. His career in policing, spanning over 32 years, has been marked by significant contributions and dedicated service.
Reflecting on his tenure in Lincolnshire, Haward expressed a mix of pride and sadness: “It is with a great deal of sadness that I have decided to move on from Lincolnshire. This has been an immensely difficult decision as I have loved the last three years in Lincolnshire and am immensely proud to have been Chief Constable in this time. I did not expect to be leaving Lincolnshire at this point, but an unexpected opportunity has arisen and it’s time for a new challenge."
Former Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Bill Skelly. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
The pattern of three-year tenures for Lincolnshire's Chief Constables raises questions about the challenges and demands of the role in the region. Haward's predecessor, Bill Skelly, took over in 2017 following Neil Rhodes' retirement and served until his own retirement in 2020 after a 31-year career in policing.
As Chief Constable Chris Haward prepares to leave Lincolnshire Police in February 2024, the focus shifts to his successor for this pivotal role, carrying a significant yearly salary of £161,115. The responsibility of appointing the new Chief Constable falls to Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones, who recently navigated through a challenging period marked by an investigation into the hiring process of the current chief.
Lincolnshire Police & Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
This upcoming appointment comes at a crucial time for Jones, who had previously faced scrutiny over the recruitment process. In 2020, he had proposed a preferred candidate for the Chief Constable position but later withdrew the nomination amidst the controversy. With the impending departure of Haward, Jones is now tasked with initiating the recruitment process once again, this time under the watchful eye of both the public and the policing community.
PCC Marc Jones said: “I am sad to see the Chief move on from his role in Lincolnshire but understand what a fantastic opportunity the new role presents for him. Chris has been a dedicated, committed, hard working Chief and has done fantastic work in Lincolnshire. Not only did he see the force through the huge challenge of transitioning away from the G4S contract he has worked tirelessly to create a police force equipped to tackle modern crime and to keep our communities safe. I wish him all the very best in his new prestigious position and know he will bring a great deal of experience and expertise to a really important national role.”