Officer who started on Blackpool beat taking command of Lancashire Police

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw with new chief constable Andy Rhodes
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw with new chief constable Andy Rhodes

Former Blackpool officer Andy Rhodes is set to take command of policing in Lancashire following the retirement of Chief Constable Steve Finnigan

Chief Constable Finnigan who is retiring today after more than 12 years at the helm and 41 years as a police officer.

Steve Finnigan is retiring after 41 years of policing

Steve Finnigan is retiring after 41 years of policing

He is replaced in the role by Chief Constable Rhodes, who is excited to get started in his new post.

He said: “Steve Finnigan has been an outstanding Chief Constable who has led the force through some tough times, especially in the last few years. He will be sorely missed and I wish him well with whatever he chooses to do in the future.

“I am hugely looking forward to taking over as Chief Constable. It’s a challenging and exciting role and I cannot wait to get started.”

Steve Finnigan spoke of the 'honour' of leading the Lancashire force and said he believes his successor is a perfect fit for the challenging post.

He said: “I can honestly say it has been a huge honour and privilege to lead this organisation which is full of great people committed to providing first class public service to the people of Lancashire.

“If truth be told I don’t particularly want to go but I’ll be 60 tomorrow and I feel I have done my bit.

“I leave the Constabulary in the best possible hands. Andy Rhodes has a long and proud record serving in Lancashire, and most recently has been an outstanding Deputy Chief Constable in this force.

"Andy will ensure that the hard-earned reputation of the Constabulary, as one of the very top performing forces in the country, will be built upon over the next few years. All of our staff, and the people of Lancashire, can feel confident that they have in Andy Rhodes a first class leader who will take this organisation from strength to strength.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw paid tribute to the work of the retiring chief constable

He said: "Steve's vision on policing and running the force is second to none and the standards of excellence he brought to Lancashire really isinvaluable.

“As the longest serving chief in the country Steve has brought structure and professionalism like no other and his policing has truly been of a standard of excellence.

“The support that he has given to my office has been fantastic and on a professional and personal level, Steve will be missed.

“I am certain that Steve will feature as a prominent figure in the history of Lancashire Constabulary for the work that he has done and I wish him lots of luck with his retirement."

FORCE SAYS FAREWELL TO LONG-SERVING CHIEF

Mr Finnigan joined Merseyside Police in June 1976 and held various operational and strategic roles. He worked in all geographical areas of Merseyside over a period of almost 25 years.

During his time in Merseyside he was involved in the responses to many significant events, including the riots in Toxteth in 1981 and 1985, the Miners’ Dispute in 1984 and the murder of James Bulger in 1993.

In January 2001 Mr Finnigan joined Lancashire Constabulary as Assistant Chief Constable and in June of that year he was the Gold Commander for the riots in Burnley. In July 2002 he was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable and in February 2005 he was appointed as Temporary Chief Constable, before being appointed substantively to the role in March 2007.

In 2006 Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) announced that Lancashire Constabulary was the only force (of 43) to be awarded an ‘Excellent’ grade for our approach to Neighbourhood Policing and also ‘Criminal Justice’. In 2007 we were announced to be the (joint) top performing force in the country. Since that time Lancashire Constabulary has regularly been highlighted as displaying good practice in many different parts of our business.

In June 2006 Mr Finnigan was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for services to policing.

In June 2010 he was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for services to policing.