Northumbria Police chief announces retirement

Northumbria Police's Chief Constable Sue Sim, who has announced she is retiring after 30 years.
Northumbria Police's Chief Constable Sue Sim, who has announced she is retiring after 30 years.

A FORCE’S top officer has confirmed she is stepping down after three decades of service.

Northumbria’s Chief Constable Sue Sim has been under investigation into misconduct claims over alleged rudeness to colleagues.

Police and Crime Commission Vera Baird appointed a QC to carry out the inquiries, but she has not been suspended and has said she would “co-operate fully” with the inquiry.

She was appointed to the post in 2011 and will step down on Wednesday, June 3.

She joined Merseyside Police in 1985 as a graduate entrant, progressing through the ranks in both uniform and CID roles.

She came to Northumbria in 2004 as an Assistant Chief Constable and was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in 2008. Traditionally, a senior officer can only hold two chief officer posts in one force.

However, the Police Authority were so determined to keep Mrs Sim in the force that they took the unprecedented step to ask the Home Secretary for special permission to allow her to apply for the position of chief.

When she was appointed in 2011 she was the first woman to lead a Metropolitan force.

She has also lead the Association of Chief Police Officers’ public order portfolio for a number of years, where she provided strategic advice at a national level.

Mrs Sim was honoured with the Queen’s Police Medal in 2009 and became Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear in 2014.

She and her family are settled in the region that they now call home.

“I have always been warmly welcomed by the public here,” she said.

“They are incredibly supportive of their local police and we could not achieve the success we do without them.”

Cases she has overseen in recent years have included the search for Raoul Moat following the murder of Christopher Brown and shooting of one of her own officers, Pc David Rathband.

Another of the high profile efforts has been Operation Dragoon, Northumbria’s road safety programme which she has personally led.