Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Colin Port to step down Colin Port will retire in January
The chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police is to step down after refusing to re-apply for his own job.
Colin Port announced he will not seek renewal of his contract, a day after Sue Mountstevens was sworn in as police and crime commissioner (PCC).
It comes as around England and Wales many PCCs have been sworn in on the day the police authorities are replaced by the new role.
Other commissioners have already begun to make changes to their forces.
In a statement, Mr Port said Ms Mountstevens had told him she intended to "start the process to recruit a chief constable" to take the force "forward".
He said: "I told her I had no intention of applying for my job."
Deputy Chief Constable Rob Berkley has been appointed acting chief constable during the recruitment process to appoint a new chief constable.
Ms Mountstevens, who won the election to be the region's first PCC, was the only independent candidate to stand in Avon and Somerset.
In his statement, Mr Port confirmed he would be retiring from the police service on 26 January 2013 at the end of his fixed-term appointment.
“It was his choice not to apply but I know that he will continue to do great things ”
Police and crime commissioner
"I am terrifically proud to have led Avon and Somerset Constabulary, whose men and women have delivered so much in partnership with the police authority," he said.
"I am sad to leave and stunned by the many messages of support I have received overnight from police officers and staff, ACPO colleagues, partners and friends of Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
"To all of them, I say thank you."
In a statement, a PCC spokeswoman said Mr Port had "already served for eight years, under legislation we could only make his appointment on a one-year basis".
And Ms Mountstevens said it was Mr Port's "choice not to apply".
"Everyone is aware that the chief constable's contract expires on January 26," she said.
Sue Mountstevens was sworn in as PCC in Bristol on Wednesday
"Because of that I would like to run a competitive process to appoint a chief constable for my whole term of office.
"It was his choice not to apply but I know that he will continue to do great things and I wish him the very best for the future."
Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, described Mr Port as a "hugely experienced chief constable".
"Colin Port has led Avon and Somerset police with distinction over the last eight years, reducing crime and raising public confidence, steering the force through a period of major change and handling a number of high profile criminal cases," he said.
"His skills and experience will be a big loss to the service."
Mr Port was appointed head of Avon and Somerset Police in January 2005 after transferring from Norfolk Constabulary, where he was deputy chief constable.
His career began with Greater Manchester Police in 1974 and he also served with Warwickshire Police.
In 1994, Mr Port worked for the United Nations as investigations co-ordinator with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
He was also director of investigations for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Between 1999 and 2002 he was seconded to Northern Ireland to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Rosemary Nelson, the human rights lawyer killed by a loyalist paramilitary group in 1999.
http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/Lo ... =26490&t=4
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