Dorset’s new Chief Constable sets out priorities for future

Dorset Police Chief Constable Scott Chilton
Dorset Police Chief Constable Scott Chilton

MAKING Dorset a hostile place for criminals and offenders is one of the aims of Dorset’s new Chief Constable Scott Chilton.

Chief Constable Chilton began his role earlier this month following the retirement of former Chief Constable James Vaughan on August 13.

He takes the reins having been Deputy Chief Constable for the Force since October 2020.

Chief Constable Chilton was the only candidate for the £165,000 a year job, which the county’s Police and Crime Panel heard was  not an uncommon situation and had been the case for Dorset in the past.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said that, despite being the only candidate, he was convinced that Mr Chilton was the right person for the job and had been rigorously tested during the process.

“He is a confident and compassionate man with grip, who has the ability to get things done,” he said.

Mr Chilton takes over the role from James Vaughan who served as Chief Constable since April 2018.

On his retirement, Mr Vaughan said: “I have been hugely privileged to have been involved in policing as a senior leader for many years and I leave Dorset Police as a force that is performing well and has some amazing officers and staff.

“One of the things I will miss most is the incredible police family we have in Dorset. I will leave behind some close colleagues, friends and many officers and staff I have worked with over the years.

“Policing has been my life for the past 30 years and it has been a whirlwind. Policing has many ups and downs, but that day-to-day adrenaline you feel as a police officer will be unforgettable.”

New Chief Constable Scott Chilton, aged 48, grew up in West Yorkshire and first joined Hampshire Police in 1992 as a constable in Portsmouth.

His career includes working as part of international policing in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2011 as well as working on police reform across Europe.

Closer to home, he has worked across special branch, counter terrorism, police operations and public contact and strategic partnerships for Hampshire Police.

He rose to the rank of Assistant Chief Constable for Hampshire covering crime, criminal justice and intelligence before joining Dorset Police last year.

Enhancing the life of Dorset residents

Chief Constable Chilton said one of his focusses will be making Dorset a hostile place for criminals and offenders.

He said: “I want to make Dorset as hostile a place as possible for any offender or criminal so our communities are safe and feel safe.

“Dorset remains an area of low crime, which continues to fall, but I want to ensure we are targeting those who wish to cause harm in our communities, while working with partners to solve problems and enhance the life of our residents as a result.

“We have a recently elected Police and Crime Commissioner in David Sidwick and he will soon be publishing his police and crime plan.

“This will drive our own priorities going forward, which will focus on collaboration and working closely with our partners and communities.

“Policing cannot operate in isolation, so those partnership links will be critical to managing demand and community confidence.

“Maintaining visibility and listening to our communities are also priorities for me and my teams to ensure we are engaging and making a difference to all of our force area.

“Dorset Police wants to make all of our communities safer, but that requires outstanding people. I take the role of chief constable with a team that has performed incredibly well in the last 18 months in often difficult circumstances and facing very high levels of demand.

“I know I am incredibly proud to become chief constable of a force that has some exceptional community resilience and strong partnership links. We must now focus on how we can make a difference to our rural, urban and coastal communities.

“Our communities should expect and deserve to be safe and feel safe and it is my commitment to ensure Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole receive a first-class policing service.”

Woodmead Halls

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