DORSET’S new chief constable will receive a salary of £146,000 a year.

At a meeting of the police and crime panel, acting chief constable Debbie Simpson Debbie Simpson was appointed to the role permanently.

She was recommended for the post by Dorset police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill, who defended his choice to increase her salary.

Police and crime commissioners can increase or decrease a chief constable’s salary by up to 10 per cent when making a new appointment.

The position was advertised as paying £146,370 a year, plus removal/relocation expenses and a lease car. The previous chief constable Martin Baker’s salary was £142,533, topped up with a bonus of £13,169 and car allowance of £4,309.

Mr Underhill said the decision was a ‘one off’ to attract the best possible candidates that shared his vision.

He said: “When I was up for election, I was always asked what my key priority is and I said the chief constable.

“If I don’t have a chief constable who shares my vision for Dorset, then the plan isn’t delivered and the people of Dorset don’t get the policing they deserve.”

Miss Simpson’s appointment at the police and crime panel meeting in Dorchester was broadcast live and was the first webcast available to view on the Dorset for You website.

Debbie Simpson said: “I am delighted to have been formally appointed as the chief constable of Dorset Police.

“Since joining the force I have been hugely impressed by the high performance of the force and the commitment of all the staff, officers and volunteers.

“I am acutely aware of the challenges that are ahead in what is a very uncertain time for the police service as a whole and I am committed to delivering to the residents of Dorset the best policing service possible.

“I look forward to working with Dorset’s police and crime commissioner to deliver the operational policing part of his manifesto and, in doing so, to work towards our shared vision of a Dorset that is safer for all of our communities and visitors.”

Miss Simpson was appointed deputy chief constable with Dorset Police in October, 2011.