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Jon Reilly appointed as new Deputy Chief Constable

A photo of new Deputy Chief Constable Jon Reilly.

Following a competitive recruitment process, Assistant Chief Constable Jon Reilly has been appointed as Deputy Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police.

Jon, who first joined Avon and Somerset Police in 1997 as a police constable, has had a career spanning both uniform and detective roles, including Bristol Area Commander and Head of Investigations. He’s also served as South West Regional Assistant Chief Constable.

A recruitment process, which followed an advert issued externally, was held at the weekend due to current Deputy Chief Constable, Nikki Watson, confirming she is to retire.

The process, which included engagement with staff representatives, a presentation and media exercise, was conducted by a panel made up of Chief Constable Sarah Crew, Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford, an occupational psychologist and a community representative.

Speaking about his appointment, Jon said: “To be given the opportunity to serve the richly diverse and unique communities of Avon and Somerset as Deputy Chief Constable is a great privilege and honour.

“My commitment to this area is unwavering and I’m passionate about delivering a police service everyone can be proud of. I’m fully aware of the ongoing challenges policing nationally is facing into, but repairing and increasing the public’s trust and confidence in us is something I’m wholly committed to doing.

“I’m eager to get started in my new role and to support the brave and dedicated officers, staff and volunteers I work alongside as well as reaffirm my commitment to listening to all of our communities partner agencies, to ensure this police force is one to be proud of.”

Outgoing DCC, Nikki Watson, has served with Avon and Somerset Police for more than 36 years.  She has overseen the creation of our Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy, introduced our online reporting system to reduce the demand on 999 and 101, and has taken on the role of gender lead to create a working environment where women can develop and thrive. Nikki received the Queen’s Police Medal for leading Avon and Somerset Police’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Constable Sarah Crew said: “I want to thank Nikki for the exceptional work she’s developed, implemented and overseen during what’s been an exemplary career in policing. She’s always had our communities at the heart of everything she does, and I know she’s got even more to give. Nikki is a true public servant who encapsulates all our values.

“Her legacy will be a lasting one, and she’s been a trailblazer in her commitment to improving the opportunities and working environment for women in policing.

“I also want to congratulate Jon on his appointment. He’s an exceptional police officer and public servant and brings into his new role a wealth of experience and knowledge. I know he’ll work tirelessly to help us deliver outstanding policing for everyone and he fully supports the ongoing drive to improve public confidence in policing through greater openness, accountability and transparency.”