Dorset's current Chief Constable has been selected as the preferred candidate to continue the job in a permanent capacity.

James Vaughan, who was awarded a Queen’s Police Medal in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list, has been chosen by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill.

His selection will now be considered at a Confirmation Hearing by the Police and Crime Panel on February 1 at County Hall in Dorchester.

Mr Underhill said: "I am delighted to propose James Vaughan as the permanent Chief Constable of Dorset.

“He has held the role temporarily while Dorset Police and Devon & Cornwall Police explored a potential merger and he has shown outstanding leadership skills over the last nine months. Now that the outcome of the merger work is clear, it is my legal duty to hire a permanent Chief Constable.

"This was a unanimous decision by the interview panel and I am pleased to recommend that James should continue in the role.”

James Vaughan was chosen following an intensive formal application and interview process, in accordance with national regulations.

The appointments panel was made up of Martyn Underhill (Chairman); Helen Donnellan, Chairman of the Independent Audit Committee; Sarah Elliott, Independent Chairman of the Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset Local Safeguarding Children Boards; and Matt Prosser, Chief Executive Designate of Dorset Council.

In addition, Simon Bullock, Chief Executive of Dorset OPCC, and Mike Short, Chairman of the Dorset Police and Crime Panel, attended and observed the shortlisting and interview panel.

James Vaughan began his career in Wiltshire, in 1992, in various uniform and detective roles up to the rank of Chief Superintendent. He joined Dorset Police as Assistant Chief Constable in May 2012 and after being promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in 2013, led on strategic change, performance, professional standards, people and community focus, and media and communication. He also led various regional programmes, including the forensic service collaboration and the strategic alliance with Devon and Cornwall Police.

In February 2017, Mr Vaughan was appointed Deputy Chief Constable (Chief Operating Officer) for the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Strategic Alliance. In April 2018, he was appointed Temporary Chief Constable for Dorset.