Dorset's temporary Chief Constable, James Vaughan, has been confirmed in his £157,000 a year post.

He has held the temporary position since April 2018 when former Chief Constable, Debbie Simpson retired, while talks were held over the, now abandoned, merger with Devon and Cornwall.

Dorset Police and Crime Panel, which itself was meeting for the last time, heard that Mr Vaughan was the only candidate for the job.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said he welcomed Mr Vaughan’s appointment. He said he was the only Chief Constable he had known who was likely to turn up in the early hours of the morning or early evening to welcome a shift on duty and chat to his officers about their work and their concerns.

“He brings with him massive operational knowledge. One of his strengths is his concern for welfare and his ability to measure the mood of his workforce…he leads by example,” said Mr Underhill.

The new Chief Constable told the panel that he has now been with the Dorset force for almost seven years – a period which he said had been marked by delivering an on-going efficiency programme at the same time as trying to maintain and improve performance.

Asked by committee chairman Mike Smart if he would be able to deliver the public’s demand for a more visible police presence on the streets of Dorset he gave what could perhaps best be described as a ‘diplomatic’ answer: “When you look at the evidence about detecting and reducing crime it is actually quite weak..satisfying an almost insatiable demand from the public is difficult to square, but we are very conscious of it.”

He said the force did maintain contact with the public and was reaching out to communities by maintaining neighbourhood teams – but also by using social media where the force had 100,000 followers.

Mr Vaughan started his career with Wiltshire Police in 1992 and was promoted to Detective Superintendent in 2007 leading Wiltshire’s response to major, serious and organised crime.

In 2011, Mr Vaughan successfully completed the Strategic Command Course, and joined Dorset Police as Assistant Chief Constable in May 2012. Following promotion to Deputy Chief Constable in 2013, he led on strategic change, planning, performance, professional standards, people and community focus, and media and communication.

Mr Vaughan has also led various regional collaboration programmes including the forensic service collaboration and the strategic alliance with Devon and Cornwall Police. In his national capacity he is the NPCC Lead for Forensic Procurement and Market Development.

In February 2017, Mr Vaughan was appointed Deputy Chief Constable for the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Strategic Alliance. In April 2018, he was appointed Temporary Chief Constable for Dorset. He holds a Masters Degree in Criminology and Police Management. His service was recognised in the 2019 Honours when he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.