THE new Chief Constable of North Yorkshire has been confirmed by the county’s police and crime panel.

Dave Jones, currently assistant chief constable of the rural region of Northern Ireland, is likely to take office in June.

Speaking at at press conference after his formal endorsement yesterday, Mr Jones said he wanted to continue the work that had made North Yorkshire a safe county and was committed to protecting the vulnerable and working on public confidence in policing.

Previous Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell stood down last May following a series of investigations by the IPCC, and Tim Madgwick took on the role temporarily.

Referring to the scandals to have hit the force, Mr Jones said: “I’m taking over a really good service and my role is to improve that further – standards of behaviour are an integral part of that.”

He thanked Mr Madgwick for his “stewardship” and said he met him for a number of hours on Wednesday.

Mr Jones did not comment directly on whether rural police stations would close, as he proposed in Northern Ireland, but said: “We have to recognise we are in austere times and there will be changes”. He said his priority was to “maintain operational capacity”.

Mrs Mulligan had been criticised earlier in the day by the Police and Crime Panel, which said she had suggested Mr Jones had been appointed before he was approved by the panel.

A spokesman said: "The panel has met to consider the proposed appointment of Chief Constable David Jones and is pleased to endorse his appointment.

"The panel, however, is most unhappy with the process surrounding his appointment, which led the press and the public to believe that he had been appointed, ahead of this confirmation hearing.  This could have undermined the panel’s statutory role."

- Mrs Mulligan and Mr Jones will host a one-hour webchat fielding questions from the public at 4.30pm today. To ask questions and follow the webchat, visit