GLOUCESTERSHIRE Constabulary’s new chief constable has officially taken up office.

Mick Matthews joined the force in October 2005 as an assistant chief constable and was later promoted to deputy chief constable in January 2010.

He takes over from Tony Melville who announced his resignation six weeks ago.

Mr Matthews brings to the role a wealth of diverse experience ranging from the start of his career as a constable in Kent, through to becoming commander of Adelaide city police in Australia.

He has also worked in the USA examining the response of the FBI and New York Police Departments to the devastating events of September 11, 2001.

His most recent role has involved leading a significant change programme here in Gloucestershire – a programme touching on every part of the organisation.

"The constabulary and policing in general, is in the midst of enormous change and I see it as my job to lead us through that change ensuring that the quality of service we provide to the public of Gloucestershire remains consistently high," he said.

"We must never lose sight of the fact that our basic role is dealing with criminals robustly to keep our communities safe.

"I want to maintain visible policing across Gloucestershire and our plans for the future involve making ourselves more accessible than ever before. But with fewer people working here, that, inevitably, might look a little different."

Gloucestershire Police Authority chairman Rob Garnham added: "The authority is delighted that Mr Matthews has been appointed as the chief constable. "He has a wealth of experience in the county and provides strong continuity as the authority and constabulary deliver policing in very challenging times. "Mr Matthews is well-respected throughout the county and I know his appointment will be a popular one."