Image caption, Sarah Crew replaces Andy Marsh as chief constable

Avon and Somerset Police force has appointed its first female chief constable.

Sarah Crew has replaced Andy Marsh, who took over in 2016 and stepped down in June.

She was officially confirmed in the role by the area’s Police and Crime Panel earlier and described the move as the “greatest honour”.

Ms Crew joined the force in 1994 and served as Assistant Chief Constable to Mr Marsh from 2017.

During her policing career, she has worked as head of intelligence lead for Bristol CID and commander of South Gloucestershire policing area.

Policing by consent

She is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for rape and sexual assault and oversaw the introduction of Project Bluestone at Avon and Somerset – an evidence-based approach to rape and serious sexual assault investigations

Ms Crew said: “It will be the greatest honour of my life to serve the wonderfully diverse communities of Avon and Somerset as Chief Constable.

“I don’t underestimate the privilege and responsibility this role carries with it and I’m wholly committed to delivering the outstanding policing our communities want and deserve.

“Policing is at a watershed moment; there’s nothing more precious than the founding principle of policing by consent, and we must work tirelessly to earn and keep the public’s trust.”

Mr Marsh announced in April that he would not seek to renew his contract.

He said it was a difficult decision to step down and the announcement came after the force faced large protests and disorder including the Kill the Bill violence in March.

Image caption, Sarah Crew appeared alongside Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford at the Police and Crime Panel

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