Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson has announced Catherine Roper as the preferred candidate for the next chief constable of Wiltshire Police. Catherine is currently a Commander (Cdr) within the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
Announcing Cdr Roper as his preferred appointment for the role, Mr Wilkinson said he was impressed by the breadth of policing experience being brought to the county.
Mr Wilkinson said: “After a comprehensive selection process I am delighted to announce Catherine as my preferred candidate for Wiltshire Police’s next Chief Constable.
“Catherine is an exceptionally strong candidate and brings with her decades of experience within challenging policing environments alongside a different perspective and view to police delivery in the county. I am extremely pleased she has chosen Wiltshire to continue her successful policing career.
“I believe Catherine will be an inspirational leader. She has a track record of delivering a high-performing police function, fighting crime but also working closely with local authorities and partner agencies to drive change and ensure Wiltshire Police delivers a quality policing service that our residents want and deserve.
“I look forward to working closely with her as we both strive towards the goal of making Wiltshire safer.”
The rigorous selection process included sessions with two stakeholder panels – one made up of officers and staff within Wiltshire Police and an external stakeholder panel with representatives from OPCC partners, charities and commissioned services, as well as members of the PCC’s Youth Commission.
Cdr Roper also impressed the interview panel, which featured chief constable Andy Marsh – chief executive of the College of Policing, Matt Parr – His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire Services, as well as the PCC and two other independent panel members.
Mr Wilkinson’s preferred appointment of Cdr Roper is now subject to confirmation by Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime Panel – this hearing is expected to take place on January 12, 2023.
Cdr Roper joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 2000 and began her career in frontline policing. Her progression has seen her take several high-profile roles including within specialist intelligence and surveillance command.
Cdr Roper has also worked within the Specialist Protection Command, responsible for the armed protection of politicians and high-profile VIPs and also spent time in Royalty Protection, responsible for armed protection of the Royal Family.
In 2022, Cdr Roper was made responsible for Central Specialist Crime, which includes tackling the most serious organised criminality including economic and cyber crime; modern slavery and organised immigration crime; online child sexual exploitation, kidnaps and the Flying Squad, in addition to a range of high profile, complex and sensitive investigations.
In addition to her MPS responsibilities, Catherine holds the National Child and Young Person (CYP) portfolio, and is a Post Incident Manager for firearms incidents, as well as previously being a Strategic Firearms Commander.
Cdr Roper added: “I am honoured and delighted to be selected as the PCCs preferred candidate to be the chief constable of Wiltshire Police. I am committed to working with the communities and partners of Wiltshire and Swindon to provide the best possible policing service, building on Kier Pritchard’s exceptional dedication.
“I very much look forward to working with the officers and staff of Wiltshire Police, together with the PCC Philip Wilkinson and his team.”
Cdr Roper was chosen as the PCC’s preferred candidate following an intensive formal application and interview process, in accordance with national regulations.
This appointment comes after Chief Constable Kier Pritchard announced in November he would be retiring after 30 years in policing in June 2023.