The Executive

Devon and Cornwall Police’s Executive 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 Executive (previously known as the Chief Offciers Group or COG) is made up of the Chief Constable, one Deputy Chief Constable, four Assistant Chief Constables and two directors.

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

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

Chief constableChief Constable - Shaun Sawyer

Shaun Sawyer was appointed Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall Police in February 2013.

Mr Sawyer has served within Specialist Operations (Counter Terrorism) and Territorial Policing. From 2005 to 2007 he was the Met Police lead for covert operations and intelligence combating serious and organised crime and terrorism. In 2008 he was appointed Head of Counter Terrorism within Scotland Yard with both national and international responsibilities. His current portfolios include being the national policing lead for the crime business area covering standards, training and competencies as well as modern slavery, organised immigration crime and migration related matters. He also leads the national initiative for police cadets.

The Chief Constable is the most senior police officer in Devon and Cornwall Police and is responsible for the delivery of operational policing. is accountable to the public and the PCC but is operationally independent and free from political interference.  However the Chief Constable must perform their duties in a way that reasonably assists the PCC. Whilst the PCC appoints the Chief Constable, they are not their employer. The Chief Constable is a corporation sole and a servant of the Crown.

The Chief Constable Has overall responsibility for the performance of Devon and Cornwall Police, its officers and staff and the use of police resources and finances.

Follow CC Shaun Sawyer on Twitter @CCShaunSawyer

[back to top]


Deputy Chief ConstableDeputy Chief Constable - Paul Netherton

Paul Netherton began his police career in 1990 in Surrey Police working in various uniform and operational roles. He transferred to Hampshire Police in 2001 and worked in Portsmouth and North Hampshire as well as spending a year in the Home Office Performance and Standards unit. He joined Devon & Cornwall Police as Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) in April 2008 and became Deputy Chief Constable in May 2017.

As Deputy Chief Constable he is responsible for delivering policing performance across the 4,000 square miles of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. He is also responsible for managing the transformational change programme for the Police across Devon and Cornwall and Dorset police forces.

Paul has a vast experience in operational policing and has led regionally and nationally on a range of issues including firearms, counter terrorism, public order policing, contingency planning and managing major events and incidents. He has dealt with numerous major events and incidents including major urban disorder, football matches, the Rugby World Cup and even the start of the Olympic Torch relay from Lands’ End in 2012.

He is the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for Civil Contingencies and also chairs the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  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.  This has included working with the United Nations, lecturing to Universities and on Senior Command Courses for both police and military and supporting police and other agencies during major crisis events.  He has had to represent the police at Government COBR on a range of civil contingency issues from flooding to Ebola. He has also lead the civil contingency planning for the Police service in relation to the ‘no deal’ Brexit.

He is also the President of the national Christian Police Association (CPA) and works closely with Street Pastors and other faith organisations supporting the police. He is chair of the Police Sport UK Snow sports Section which does mean he manages to get away at least once a year to compete in the events in Austria.

Follow DCC Paul Netherton on Twitter @DCC_DC_Police

[back to top]


Assistant Chief Constable (2)Assistant Chief Constable - Sharon Taylor

ACC Sharon Taylor was appointed in the role of ACC Business Change for Devon and Cornwall Police in April 2008 following a ten month secondment to the Force as ACC Citizen Focus.

She changed portfolios in 2009, assuming the role of ACC Justice and Professional Standards and was later appointed to the role of ACC Local Policing and Partnerships with responsibility for over 2,000 officers and staff.

In 2014, Sharon led the strategic alliance work between Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police as the Senior Responsible Officer, having been appointed to the role by both Chief Constables.  Following this, Sharon undertook the role of Director for the Convergence Project between the two Forces.

Sharon currently has responsibility for the Vulnerability and Crime portfolio, incorporating Major Crime Investigations, Serious & Organised Crime, Intelligence Directorate, Public Protection and Safeguarding, Authorities and Criminal Justice/Custody.

Before joining Devon & Cornwall, Sharon had over 23 years’ service with the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP). She has a wide range of experience, serving in 16 different roles in the UK. She has been operational at every level of her service. She has been a Divisional Commander, Head of Divisional Operations, worked with HMIC on BCU inspections in the north of England and also has staff officer and training experience. She was then appointed as temporary ACC in 2004, with responsibility for HR, Learning and Development, Professional Standards and International Policing (MDP have up to 100 officers overseas).

Sharon joined the MDP after graduating with the University of Lancaster. She achieved a Distinction in her Master’s Degree with Middlesex University in Police Management in 2001.

Sharon successfully completed the Strategic Command Course in 2005 and is the first person in the history of the MDP to achieve the rank of ACC with another force.

She currently lives in Mid Devon with her husband and two sons.

[back to top]

Assistant Chief Constable (3)Assistant Chief Constable - Paul Davies

Paul left school at 16 to join the Army and served for several years with the Royal Military Police in both the UK and Germany.

He joined Avon and Somerset Police in 1992, working as a response officer in Bath and Taunton.

He transferred to Devon and Cornwall Police in 1998 and carried out predominantly operational roles at all levels, including Local Policing Area Chief Inspector for North Devon and Local Policing Area Commander for East and Mid Devon. He also served as Staff Officer to Chief Constable Stephen Otter and led the Force transition work for the introduction of an elected Police and Crime Commissioner in 2011.

In 2012 he was promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent and became Basic Command Unit (BCU) Commander for Devon for a period of 4 years, commanding one of the largest BCUs in the country and playing a key role in strategic partnerships at Board level. At this time he also became a strategic firearms commander.

In 2016 he was appointed into a new role as Head of Corporate Development, leading the co-ordination, oversight and delivery of the Force strategic plan. He played a key role in developing a transformational change programme across Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police and is the Senior Responsible Officer for the implementation of a future operating model of integrated services across both Forces.

In May 2018, following successful completion of the national Strategic Command Course Paul was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable with responsibility for Local Policing.

Paul lives in East Devon with his wife, Pippa and their dog. In his spare time he enjoys walking, cooking, travelling and anything to do with rugby.

Follow ACC Paul Davies on Twitter @ACCPDavies

[back to top]

Assistant Chief ConstableAssistant Chief Constable - Jim Colwell

Jim joined the Force in 2001 at a age of 27 as a bobby on the beat in Plymouth after graduating from Leicester University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and Sociology and a post-graduate Diploma in Security and Risk Management. 

With extensive experience as a senior detective and one of the Force’s key investigating officers, he has a meticulous eye for detail and is proactive in driving a high quality policing service to the communities of Devon & Cornwall. 

He is known for his thorough investigative skills and for leading investigations into high profile cases such as a fatal speedboat incident in Padstow, as well as coordinating the initial response to numerous major incidents including homicides and kidnaps across the Force.

He was promoted to Chief Superintendent in April 2016, where he took on the role of BCU Commander for Devon. He was then temporarily promoted to Assistant Chief Constable in January 2018, with responsibility for Local Policing and Connectivity. In July 2019 Jim was promoted to the substantive Assistant Chief Constable role, this time with responsibility for Innovation, Contact and Demand.

He has also specialised in leading the south west region in responding to modern slavery and human trafficking.

Jim was born in Manchester but spent his early childhood in West Africa, before returning to the UK at the age of eight years. He has a passion for running and football and has travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean, including negotiating the Panama Canal numerous times having worked on cruise ships in his youth. In his spare time he enjoys coaching youth football and chasing after his two young sons.

[back to top]

Assistant Chief Constable Jim NymAssistant Chief Constable Jim Nye

Jim has been in Devon and Cornwall Police for 25 years, having served in both counties and currently works closely with Dorset Police, as both forces move towards a merger. He leads on the strategic alliance between both forces and is charged with making sure the forces work together to improve delivery, resilience and flexibility, whilst saving money and improving efficiency.

He is also responsible for tri service collaboration with the fire service and ambulance service, and is also the lead for the police response mental health in crisis across the region. Finally Jim oversees the full upgrade of the force ICT infrastructure and public contact strategy.

Operationally Jim is a strategic firearms commander and a public order commander.

Away from Devon and Cornwall Police Jim is the chair of trustees for the road safety charity @HonestTruthUk; is a board member of @Active Devon and is chair of the UK seaport Police Commanders Group.

[back to top]

Director of Finance and ResourcesDirector of Finance and Resources - Sandy Goscomb

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

Her responsibilities include overseeing the Force budget and ensuring proper financial administration and control of what is spent and received. In addition, she is the executive lead for ICT, the 1000 strong vehicle fleet, administration across the force and a four force regional procurement unit.

Sandy’s career has always been with policing, a service she is proud to work for. Prior to working for Devon & Cornwall, she was Head of Finance at Dorset Police.

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

[back to top]

Director of Legal ServicesDirector of Legal, Reputation and Risk - Mike Stamp

Mike Stamp was appointed Director of Legal Services in September 2006, with his role developing into the Director of Legal, Reputation and Risk in 2015. His portfolio includes Legal Services in Devon and Cornwall and Dorset, and Information Management and Corporate Communications in Devon and Cornwall.

The Legal Services team provide legal advice and representation to both Forces and their Police and Crime Commissioners. Their work includes litigation (employment, civil, inquest, misconduct and judicial review), operations (civil preventative orders, licensing, public order) and general advice (duty advisor scheme for day to day legal queries, critical incident advice, and strategic advice). Members of the team regularly appear in a range of Courts to represent the interests of the Chief Constables and/or Police and Crime Commissioners.

Mike and his team regularly sit on Gold and Silver groups, which are responsible for the management of critical incidents.

As the member of the Executive with portfolio responsibility for Information Management, Mike holds the position of the Senior Information Responsible Officer on behalf of Devon and Cornwall and Dorset.

In addition, the Information Management department is responsible for Data Protection, Freedom of Information, Disclosure, Information Assurance and information sharing with partner agencies for both Devon and Cornwall and Dorset.   The Alliance Information Management Department is also responsible for Records Management and Data Quality within Devon and Cornwall.

Mike also undertakes the role as Joint Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) for Devon and Cornwall and Dorset.

The Corporate Communications department covers internal and external communications including reputation management and digital media.

Mike sits on the national committee for the Association of Police Lawyers and chairs the Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Joint Ethics Committee and is also the co-chair of the South West Policing Regional Ethics Committee.

Mike is a qualified Solicitor, married with children and lives in Devon

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

Current location: Change

There seems to be a problem, please refresh the page and try again.

©2015 Devon and Cornwall Constabulary

Content uploaded: |
Content correct on page at last modification date.
Devon and Cornwall Police are NOT accountable for the content of external websites