Public panel will be part of Bedfordshire Police chief constable selection process Image: iStock

Members of the public will be in the audience questioning candidates for the chief constable role

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, is inviting members of the public and the Bedfordshire Police workforce to quiz candidates hoping to become the next chief constable.

The public panel will make up part of a rigorous selection process awaiting the candidates during their assessment day on 23 May. This is part of a bid to open up the interview process, which will also be live streamed.  

Each candidate will have 10 minutes to present to the audience to explain the ways they intend to secure and build on Bedfordshire Police’s improvements and current service, before taking 10 minutes of questions, selected at random from those present.

Commissioner Holloway said:

“I want to see how they interact with our own residents and employees to ensure that our new police leader is comfortable answering not only to me but to the people they serve.”

The successful applicants will also undergo interviews on a one to one basis with the PCC, the chair of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel Paul Cain, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service chief Paul Fuller, and local businessman and house building developer Steve Smith. Mr Smith will be representing the county’s business community and will examine each candidate’s strategic vision and financial planning capabilities.

Candidates will also have to deliver two media interviews in response to an unfolding emergency scenario.

The presentations will start at 2pm and run until around 4pm to meet the diary needs of as many key partners taking part as possible. Any member of the public, or Bedfordshire Police itself, wishing to book a place can do so via Eventbrite

The new Chief Constable will replace Jon Boutcher, who is standing down in July.