New Chief Constable takes up role at Dorset Police

06 April 2018
Dorset Police’s new Chief Constable has officially taken up his post.

James Vaughan began his new role on Saturday 7 April 2018, taking over from retiring Chief Constable Debbie Simpson.

He said: “I consider it an honour and privilege to take up the role of Chief Constable.

“I have worked in Dorset Police for six years and have been the deputy to Debbie Simpson for five of those years.

“She has been an outstanding Chief Constable and been both inspirational and influential across the county; picking up the baton from her is going to be a huge challenge.”

James said that one of his key priorities in the role would be focussing on the wellbeing of the workforce.

He said: “The men and women of Dorset Police – officers, staff and volunteers –have delivered enormous changes in the Force during recent years reducing our operating budget by £37million; yet we are still a police force that is judged among the best in the country.

“To have delivered all that change and to be continuing to provide good services to the public is an absolute testament to everyone that works here.

“Looking to the future we have to continue delivering outstanding services to the public.” 

James added that the Force has ‘ambitious plans for the future’.

He said: “I will be working closely with the Police and Crime Commissioner to deliver the Police and Crime Plan.

“We also have an ambitious joint transformation programme with Devon and Cornwall Police and are working on outline proposals for a full merger."

Prior to his appointment, James had served as Deputy Chief Constable for the Force since May 2013, having joined Dorset Police as Assistant Chief Constable in 2012.

James, aged 50, began his policing career with Wiltshire Police in 1992, working in various uniform and detective roles including Head of Crime. 

He is married with five children and his interests include sailing and natural history.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Firstly, on behalf of Dorset residents, I would like to thank Debbie Simpson for her professionalism, honesty, integrity and leadership, which has left Dorset Police in a strong position to be able to meet future challenges. I wish her well in her retirement. 

“I also welcome James to the role. Within policing, we are seeing unprecedented levels of change in crime types and increases in demand. Having been the Deputy Chief Constable here in Dorset and across the strategic alliance, James is well placed to provide the strong leadership the Force needs.”
News archive FOI disclosure log

Media / Journalists

If you are an accredited journalist or member of the media, please click here for information about how to contact our News Team. They don’t handle other enquiries, but members of the public can contact us in many other way by clicking here.