THE search for a new chief constable for Hampshire Constabulary has been started by police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes.

The current Chief Constable Alex Marshall is leaving the force in February to become the first chief executive of the new College of Policing.

And the newly-posted commissioner has swiftly begun his search, hoping to fill the vacancy by the end of January.

Mr Hayes said: “I am looking for a strong leader, who can continually push to reduce crime, prevent reoffending, and has the ability to encourage the force and organisations to do so in p a r t n e r - ship.

“Making our communities safer is not a job solely for the police, and the chief constable needs to build those relationships to find a solution.”

After two days of interviews in January with a panel of advisors selected by the commissioner, Mr Hayes will put forward his preferred candidate to the Police and Crime Panel for a confirmation hearing, held in public.