New police chief for Milton Keynes

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CITY officers are under the leadership of a new Local Policing Commander.

Detective Superintendent Barry Halliday took over the top role in Milton Keynes from Superintendent Nikki Ross yesterday, almost exactly 25 years after his first day as a police officer, when he also started his new role in the city.

DS Halliday, who was previously Head of Force CID Investigations, joined Thames Valley Police on April 13, 1987. He was a beat bobby on the Lakes Estate for five years.

He said: “More than anything, my first five years as a bobby in Milton Keynes shaped me and made me realise very early on what really counts.

“It was the most important part of my career because I had the opportunity to talk to the people that matter – our communities and for me getting that right and looking after their needs and worries was my passion and nothing has changed since.

“Policing in Milton Keynes has been left to me in a great position. Part of that is about how well it has been lead over the past years and the strong relationship that exists with partners.

“I was pleased to discover some old friends both within the station and within our partner agencies at an Award Ceremony in Milton Keynes last week so I know only too well the commitment and drive to ensure our city remains safe is as strong as ever. I am thrilled to be working alongside true caring professionals.

“The other part is down to the fantastic officers and police staff we have working in the city. Wherever I go I find teams of hard-working, dedicated people working hard to keep the city safe and catch those who commit crime and I am proud to be overseeing their work.”

DS Halliday also worked as a Detective Sergeant, DI and a DCI in the city, successfully formulating and leading operations such as Operation Drawbridge, an initiative to combat burglary in 1999 and the anti-drugs operation code-named Operation Dawning in 1998.

He has received a number of Area and Chief Constable Commendations for a significant number of complex investigations and was recently awarded with his team the High Sherriff’s’ Shrievalty Award for his work in cold case investigations.

Since leaving Milton Keynes he has worked within the Serious Crime Unit and Major Crime as a Senior Investigating Officer. DS Halliday and his team recently solved the Vicky Thompson murder which occurred over ten years ago.

This was the first ever conviction following trial of a man who was initially acquitted of the murder and was subsequently re-arrested and charged.

He said: “I hope my range of experience including ground breaking use of powerful legislation will highlight to any criminal operating in the city that if they continue to pursue a life of crime they can expect to be caught and brought to justice.

“The excellent work achieved by the previous LPA Commander and partner agencies cannot and will not be compromised and I want our communities to feel safe in our city.

“When I started 25 years ago Milton Keynes had recently had its Portakabin removed as the station was finally opened and it developed as I grew as a police officer. I know the city and the people well and I am determined to continue to make it as safe and pleasant a place to live as possible.”

Outgoing Commander, Supt Nikki Ross has taken up a posting heading up the Professional Standards Department at Thames Valley Headquarters.

She said: “I have been really proud to have worked with such a professional bunch of people in Milton Keynes over the past years. Thanks to their talent and hard work serious acquisitive crime, particularly burglary, has fallen substantially in Milton Keynes over the past year.”