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Senior officers

Our Chief Officer Group (COG)

Devon & Cornwall Police’s Chief Officer Group is responsible for providing clear and accountable leadership for the organisation, ensuring we provide the best possible service to the people of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The Chief Officer Group, also referred to as COG, is made up of eight senior members of staff: the chief constable, the deputy chief constable, three assistant chief constables and three directors.

They all lead on certain areas of business within Devon and Cornwall Police.

You can find out more about them by scrolling down the page.  

In Devon & Cornwall, the Chief Officers Group is made up of the following senior members of staff - all of whom are answerable directly to the Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable - Shaun Sawyer

Shaun Sawyer 13254

Shaun Sawyer was appointed as temporary Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall Police in March 2012 and was permanently appointed to the post in February 2013.

His current portfolios include being the national policing lead for the crime business area covering standards, training and competencies as well as migration and associated issues. He also leads the national initiative for police cadets.

Mr Sawyer began his police career in 1986, initially serving as a uniformed officer within central London. During that time he also served in high profile public order incidents such as the poll tax demonstrations. As an inspector and chief inspector he served within the Specialist Operations Unit covering the period of significant Irish Republican terrorism on the mainland.

The majority of his career as a senior police officer has been within criminal investigation. He was a detective superintendent within the Central London Major Crime Team investigating murders and major incidents. A significant enquiry included being the lead Metropolitan Police investigating officer at the Ladbroke Grove Rail Disaster. He was also the detective chief superintendent responsible for professional standards and anti-corruption.

At ACPO rank Mr Sawyer has served within Specialist Operations (Counter Terrorism) and Territorial Policing. From 2005 to 2007 he was the Met lead for covert operations and intelligence combating serious and organised crime and terrorism. In 2007 to 2008 he was the lead for violent crime and public protection as well as holding the geographic policing portfolio in south west London. This included the initial responses to the growing gang culture, gang violence and gun crime within London. In 2008 he was appointed Head of Counter Terrorism within Scotland Yard with both national and international responsibilities.

In 2009 he was selected as a Syndicate Director for the Strategic Command Course, Bramshill and in 2010 was appointed Deputy Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall.

Deputy Chief Constable - Bill Skelly

Bill SkellyBill Skelly joined Devon and Cornwall Police as Deputy Chief Constable in December 2013.

He is currently the chief operating officer on behalf of the Chief Constable. 

He has been a serving police officer for 23 years and joined the Force from Police Scotland where he was working on the safety and security of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Born in Scotland, Mr Skelly joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1990 and completed the command course at Bramshill in 2004. His experience of living and working in Scotland will certainly help his role here in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, as the geography and policing challenges are very similar.

He has been involved in many different areas of policing in his career. In 2005, he was seconded to New Scotland Yard to lead the Immigration Crime Team in the covert policing branch of the Metropolitan Police, targeting criminals involved in the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation.

In 2008, Mr Skelly took up the post of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) for Scotland.

He is married with two daughters. He has a keen interest in personal fitness and enjoys hill walking, cycling and volleyball.

Assistant Chief Constable - Sharon Taylor

Sharon Taylor

Sharon Taylor was appointed Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) for Devon and Cornwall Police in April 2008.

ACC Taylor is currently responsible for Local Policing and Partnerships (LPP).

She is responsible for all neighbourhood beat managers, neighbourhood team leaders, police community support officers, local policing area commanders, geographic chief superintendents, special constables and volunteers as well as the Local Policing Department.

ACC Taylor joined the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) after graduating with the University of Lancaster. During her 23 years’ service with the MDP she was a divisional commander, Head of Divisional Operations, worked with HMIC on inspections and was Head of Professional Standards. She achieved a distinction in her master’s degree with Middlesex University in Police Management in 2001.

She was then appointed as temporary ACC at MDP in 2004 and successfully completed the strategic command course in 2005.

She then came to Devon and Cornwall Police as temporary ACC in June 2007 assuming the portfolio as ACC for Citizen Focus. On appointment as ACC in 2008 she took over the Business Change portfolio before assuming responsibility for Criminal Justice and Professional Standards in 2009.

ACC Taylor is the first person in the history of the MDP to achieve the rank of ACC with another police force.

She is married and has two teenage boys.

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Assistant Chief Constable - Paul Netherton

Paul Netherton

Paul Netherton joined Devon and Cornwall Police as Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) in April 2008.

ACC Netherton is responsible for Operations Support and delivering uniform protective services across Devon, Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly. This includes responsibility for firearms, roads policing, contingency planning and events planning.

He is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) regional lead for public order and has a vast amount of experience as a public order and public events commander. As the regional lead for public order he was gold commander for the start of the Olympic Torch Relay and has provided national advice around critical issues including support to the Falkland Islands around international policing protests.

He is the chair of the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and also the national ACPO lead for the LRF. This work involves co-ordinating the police involvement with partners and ensures guidance and good practice is promulgated throughout the country, providing assistance to Forces in planning and responding to major emergencies.

During his time with the Force ACC Netherton has also been responsible for territorial policing and the delivery of local policing across the peninsula.

He joined Surrey Police in 1990 having obtained a BSc Hons degree at Southampton University. He worked throughout Surrey in a range of operational and strategic posts. He transferred to Hampshire as a superintendent in 2001 and was posted to Portsmouth. In 2002 he was posted as a chief superintendent to the Police Standards Unit in the Home Office. ACC Netherton then returned to Hampshire as the police commander for Basingstoke and in April 2006 he became the chief superintendent in charge of policing in the North East of Hampshire.

He is married with two children. He is an active member of the Christian Police Association and is chair of the Police Sport UK Snowsports Section.

Follow ACC Paul Netherton on Twitter @ACC_Operations

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Acting Assistant Chief Constable - Andy Bickley

Andy Bickley 13128

Andy Bickley joined Devon and Cornwall Police in December 1984 and has worked in a number of roles across the Force area and within the region.

In 2000 he was promoted to the rank of chief inspector and was the staff officer to the chief constable. He took this role for over two years during which time he worked with the chief constable as the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) President.

He was posted to Plymouth in 2002, undertaking roles in operations, partnerships and community policing. During this time he was accredited as a Force firearms silver commander and advanced public order commander.

In 2007 ACC Bickley was promoted to superintendent and deputy BCU Commander, where he was responsible for all aspects of crime and operations in Plymouth. This included responding to major and critical incidents and developing a footprint for multi-agency working in response to communities in crisis.

He was promoted to chief superintendent in 2009, as geographic commander for Plymouth. Over a three-year period he was the chair of a successful local strategic partnership which secured significant investment and national recognition. During this time he was also accredited as a Strategic Firearms (Gold) Commander.

In May 2013 he was appointed acting Assistant Chief Constable for Crime and Criminal Justice. His portfolio includes major crime, serious and organised crime, scientific services, public protection, intelligence directorate, Force authorities, custody and criminal justice.

He is the project executive for a number of projects within the change programme, namely criminal justice efficiency, digital interviewing, safeguarding vulnerable people and crime investigation.

He lives in Devon with his wife, a serving detective sergeant, and two daughters.

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Director of Finance and Resources - Sandy Goscomb

Sandy Goscomb

Sandy Goscomb is the Director of Finance and Resources and has worked for Devon and Cornwall Police since August 2008.

Her responsibilities include overseeing the Force budget and being responsible for the proper financial administration and controls of what is spent and received. In addition, her teams look after the Force’s fleet of over 1,000 vehicles, all Force buildings and administration across the Force. She also is the regional lead for a four-force regional procurement department.

Sandy’s career has always been with policing, a service she is proud to work for. Prior to working for Devon and Cornwall Police she undertook a range of roles at neighbouring Dorset Police including in purchasing, HR, and corporate planning. She was Head of Finance for several years before taking up the role at Devon and Cornwall.

Sandy is a qualified accountant and chartered secretary. She is married and lives in Devon.

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Director of Human Resources - Chris Haselden

Chris Haselden

Chris Haselden is the Director of People and Leadership and has worked for Devon and Cornwall Police since June 2007.

His responsibilities include the recruitment and retention of officers, staff and volunteers, employment terms and conditions, employee relations, learning and development (including operational training units), occupational health, health and safety, workforce planning, leadership development, employee engagement and organisational development.

He is chair of the national HR leaders in policing network and immediate past-chair of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) police forum. He is a member of various CIPD professional groups, the regional lead for employee relations and holds the futures portfolio for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) workforce development business area, having previously held the personnel management portfolio. He is a member of the Skills for Justice Council and the Exeter University business leaders’ forum.

He first started in the Metropolitan Police in 1974, where he held various personnel and HR positions and led a number of HR change projects. He worked as a prosecutor in the Central Ticket Office prior to the setting up of the Crown Prosecution Service and served in the central staff directly supporting the executive and commissioner’s office.

He left the Met in 2005 as head of HR Strategic Management to join the Personnel, Training and Diversity Team of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. He was involved in a number of performance and specialist inspections of Forces across the country (including Devon and Cornwall Police) and led a major review of the personnel management arrangements in the police service of Northern Ireland.

He is married and lives near Exeter.

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Director of Legal Services - Mike Stamp

Mike Stamp

Mike Stamp was appointed Director of Legal Services in September 2006.

He manages a team of lawyers providing a legal support service to the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The key areas of his portfolio cover employment law, operational policing law, the management of police information, police misconduct, coroners’ inquests, licensing and advising on real time operations.

He also has responsibility for the Information Management Department which covers data protection, freedom of information, information management and information sharing with partner agencies. He is the Force senior information responsible officer and oversees information assurance on behalf of the Force.


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  • Created: 15/02/2010 08:36:11 |
  • Modified: 03/07/2014 16:02:11

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