A NEW chief of staff has been appointed by Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Barry Coppinger has recruited Simon Dennis to take up his post at the end of April after the post became vacant when Ed Chicken, who was on secondment from Middlesbrough Council, retired at the end of March.

The salary for the position will be £85,000 a year.

Mr Coppinger said: “I’m delighted to welcome Simon to the team. He was the best person for the role from an impressive field of candidates and has a solid background in compliance, governance and scrutiny.

“Simon will play a key role in driving forward partnership and collaboration in implementation of my Police and Crime plan, as we take on commissioning of victims’ services, monitoring of probation services and other work.”

The role involves strategic leadership, support and advice across a range of functions, along with a statutory monitoring role.

Mr Dennis was previously Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services for both North Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner in North Yorkshire.

He said: “I’m delighted to be appointed to the role of chief of staff, leading the Commissioner’s dedicated and highly effective team. There are some tough challenges ahead.

“I am looking forward to working with the Commissioner, the Chief Constable and her Chief Officer team as well as our local and regional partners to ensure a first class service is delivered to the public of Cleveland.”

The appointment was confirmed at a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on April 7.