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 eight senior members of staff: the chief constable, two deputy chief constable, two assistant chief constables and three directors.

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

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

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

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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. His current role is managing the transformational change programme for the Police alliance between 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, however his most memorable was the start of the Olympic Torch relay from Lands’ End in 2012.

He is the chair of the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and also the National Policing lead for resilience and flooding.  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 is also the deputy 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

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Deputy Chief Constable - 2Deputy Chief Constable - David Lewis

David grew up in Sussex before attending Bristol University, graduating in law in 1988.

After a period working in retail and travelling he started his police career in 1990 as a Police Constable in Bristol. He transferred to Thames Valley Police in 1993 working in a variety of operational roles in Berkshire. Whilst working as a police trainer he gained a PGCE in adult education from Surrey University.

Subsequently he held a range of roles with a Thames Valley forcewide remit, including three years as a Senior Investigating Officer in Major Crime, overseeing murder and serious crime investigations, before being promoted to Superintendent, Head of Criminal Justice in January 2006.

In June 2007, he was promoted to Chief Superintendent and took up the post of Commander for Berkshire East, where he was responsible for policing an area which included the towns of Bracknell, Ascot, Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough.

Following the reorganisation of Thames Valley in 2011, he took up the new role of Head of Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships, before passing the Senior Police National Assessment Centre and attending the Strategic Command Course in 2012.

Having successfully passed the course he was seconded to the Association of Chief Police Officers where he fulfilled the role of Chief of Staff, working with Sir Hugh Orde on national policing issues and running the National Police Coordination Centre.

He took up the post of Assistant Chief Constable of Dorset Police in July 2013, where he was the operational strategic lead for policing across Dorset.  In May 2016 he became the Regional Assistant Chief Constable for the South West, covering Serious and Organised Crime, Forensics and Counter Terrorism across five police forces.

In April 2018 he assumed the role of Deputy Chief Constable, Chief Operating Officer for the Dorset, Devon & Cornwall Strategic Alliance.

David also holds three portfolios for the National Police Chiefs’ Council: Modern Slavery Operations, Forensics Performance and Standards and the Police Overseas Visitor Registration Scheme.

He is married to Jayne and they have four children. David is a keen supporter of Reading Football Club, Sussex County Cricket Club and Bath Rugby Club. He is an active alumnus and facilitator for the Windsor Leadership Trust, a Non-Executive Member of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Regulatory Committee, and is a practising member of a local church.

Follow DCC David Lewis on Twitter @DCCDavidLewis

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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 Devon and Cornwall with them 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.

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 successfully completed the Strategic Command Course in 2005.

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

Sharon is currently leading strategic alliance work with Dorset Police as the Senior Responsible Officer, having been appointed to the role by both Chief Constables in 2014.

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

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Strategic Alliance with Dorset Police
  • Regional Collaboration
  • Mental Health

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Assistant Chief Constable (1)Temporary Assistant Chief Constable - Debbie Marsden

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Marsden started her policing career in Dorset in 1989. Early on she pursued her goal to become a detective and this has been a theme throughout her career. In 1994 she was awarded a scholarship to duty with the FBI and spent four months working across Canada and America looking at the application of behavioural analysis.

Her first sergeants posts was a staff office to the Assistant and Deputy Chief Constables working alongside them on their mental health and victim portfolios. Following that she returned to the investigative arena working in counter corruption and then moved into the intelligence world where she established the Confidential Unit for Dorset. During this period Debbie studied for her BSC (Hons) in Policing.

Debbie further explored the intelligence world moving as an Inspector to lead the surveillance and development team. It was during this posting she developed the interest of inclusion in surveillance and latterly firearms eventually taking the national lead for this working to the ACPO Interoperability programme. Three years as the Head of Intelligence followed. 

Having become interested in the management of risk Debbie chose to diversify and joined operation as a Force Incident Commander, earning her firearms command accreditation.

Her next posting was to the Head of Firearms and Roads Policing and the first venture into the alliance. From this her interest in working across the three counties grew resulting in securing a transfer to Devon and Cornwall in 2015 where she took the role as Detective Superintendent in Plymouth. In that period Debbie led some of the work on Rape and Serious Sexual Offences as the portfolio holder. Some months later Debbie was posted to HQ as the Deputy Crime Commander and then to Crime Commander for a brief spell before securing the opportunity as Temporary Assistant Chief Constable on the retirement of ACC Russ Middleton.

Debbie is married to Nick, a former Fire Officer, and has three sons. 

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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

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Temporary Assistant Chief ConstableTemporary Assistant 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.

Follow T-ACC Jim Nye on Twitter @T_ACCJimNye

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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.

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Director of People & LeadershipDirector of People & Leadership - Graham Smith

In support of work towards the Strategic Alliance, Graham took on the joint role of Director of People & Leadership for Devon & Cornwall and the Director of HR for Dorset in February 2014.

Graham began his policing career in Dorset as Head of HR in January 2000 and following a period of time on secondment to HMIC returned to Dorset and became Director of HR in 2005.

Graham currently has responsibility for all aspects of strategic human resource management, including training, career development, employee relations, wellbeing, welfare, health and safety, recruitment and workforce planning.

At a national level Graham has held the position of Chair of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Police Forum, was the National Portfolio lead for Personnel Management and a member of the Workforce Futures National Business Area. He continues to work on various national groups and is currently part of a Home Office led working group looking at Collaboration across the whole Crime & Justice area at a National Level.

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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

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