The police, fire and crime commissioner has announced his proposed candidate to be the next Chief Constable.

Ben-Julian (BJ) Harrington has been selected as the candidate after a long process of recruitment.

Speaking about the selection, Roger Hirst, police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex, said: "Following a rigorous and transparent recruitment process, I’m pleased to announce Mr Harrington as my proposed candidate for the role of Chief Constable of Essex Police.

"Mr Harrington will bring a wealth of experience to the role and has made a significant impact since joining Essex Police as Temporary Deputy Chief Constable in April 2017.

“Mr Harrington is an outstanding leader who comes to this role with over 27 years of operational experience both in Essex and in the Metropolitan Police Service.

"During the interview process Mr Harrington clearly demonstrated his leadership and his strong commitment to Essex Police.”

The process to select Mr Harrington involved written exercises, media tests, psychometric testing and meetings with key stakeholders as well as an interview with an independent panel including Mr Hirst, Lynne Owens, director general of the National Crime Agency, Lyn Carpenter, chief executive of Thurrock Council, Gavin Jones, chief executive of Essex County Council, and Ian Davidson, chair of Safer Essex.

Mr Harrington said: "It’s an absolute privilege to be named the preferred candidate to lead a force full of energetic and talented people doing the most difficult of jobs.

"In the fourteen months I have spent in the county I have seen up close the challenges officers, staff and volunteers face and the frustrations our communities feel.

"But above all what I see is a determination to do the best we all can to keep our county as safe as possible.

“My job will be to tackle violent crime whether its roots are in domestic violence or drug dealing, build on already strong relationships with community safety partners in Essex and our vital partnership with Kent Police, and make sure the people who put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect the public are themselves protected.”