THE preferred candidate for Cheshire Police's next chief constable has been announced.

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane announced on Monday that Darren Martland had been chosen as his preferred candidate to take up the role.

Darren is the current acting deputy chief constable of Cheshire Police, and has been with Cheshire Constabulary since 2017 following extensive service at other north west forces.

His selection follows a rigorous and 'competitive' recruitment process, carried out in accordance with the College of Policing guidance on the appointment of chief officers.

The appointment panel was chaired by PCC Mr Keane, with support from key leaders across Cheshire who have professional knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system.

These included Cheshire’s chief fire officer Mark Cashin, the acting chief executive of Cheshire East Council Kath O’Dwyer, and independent panel member Gill Lewis.

Mr Keane said: “This has been a highly competitive process with applications from high quality candidates.

"I’d like to thank the appointment panel who provided me with their expert opinion and advice.

"I am pleased to announce that Darren Martland has been selected as the preferred candidate for chief constable.”

The appointment is subject to a confirmation hearing by the Cheshire police and crime panel, who will review the proposed appointment at a confirmation hearing.

A date for this hearing will be confirmed by the panel.

Janette McCormick has been in the role of Acting Chief Constable since August 2017, when Simon Byrne was suspended by Mr Keane ahead of a gross misconduct hearing, which ultimately saw Mr Byrne cleared.