The new Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, Bill Skelly, takes up his position with the force today.
Mr Skelly has moved from Devon and Cornwall Police where he has been Deputy Chief Constable since December 2013. Prior to that he served with Police Scotland which he had joined as Lothian and Borders Police in 1990.
He completed the command course at Bramshill in 2004 and held senior posts with the Immigration Crime Team at New Scotland Yard and in 2008 was HM Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland.
Mr Skelly said: “I know that taking over from Neil Rhodes I have become the custodian of a force that has a huge heritage that people are immensely proud of and with a real commitment from the staff to deliver the best possible service that we can to everyone, particularly the vulnerable.
“If I have achieved anything in my career it is because of the team effort - the team effort in everyone doing their level best in trying to deliver in what I understand and have experienced can be very challenging circumstances.”
He accepted that it would not be all plain sailing and there would be challenges ahead “not only on the financial front but the things we feel passionately about in serving and looking after the public and delivering a service we can be proud of. I really look forward to serving with this very proud force.”
Mr Skelly, who is married with two daughters, likes to spend his time outdoors, enjoying hill walking and cycling and is an avid volleyball player. He is the chair of the Police Sport UK Volleyball Section and has reached the personal milestone of playing as a member of the Great Britain Police Team.
Mr Skelly’s predecessor Neil Rhodes has left the force after nearly 31 years of service. At a brief presentation at HQ, Deputy Chief Constable Gary Knighton paid tribute to his service which he said had started and ended in Lincolnshire.
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones paid tribute to Neil Rhodes the Chief Constable and the individual, ‘who is known and respected nationally’.
Mr Rhodes said that it had been an amazing experience to have started as Constable and to retire as Chief Constable in the same force and to have taken the oath of attestation and retired from the same building.
He said: “I made two top decisions 31 years ago – the first one was to ask Sue to marry me and the second was to join Lincolnshire Police. It’s been an absolute blast and I have enjoyed working with all of you – thank you!”
Ray Wootten, Vice-Chairman of the Lincolnsire Police and Crime Panel, said: “I would like to congratulate Neil Rhodes on completing 30 years service and to thank him for the professional manner and skill in the way he led the force over those years, leaving it in a better place for the residents of Lincolnshire.”