SHAUN Sawyer has been selected as the new chief constable for Devon and Cornwall police.

The former Metropolitan Police officer, who has filled the chief constable role on a temporary basis since the departure of Stephen Otter in March 2012, will take office subject to confirmation by the Police and Crime Panel on February 8.

Five shortlisted candidates vying for the £150,000 salary job were interviewed by a five-strong panel headed by Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg at his Exeter HQ on Tuesday.

“We were extremely pleased by the quality of all the candidates,” said Mr Hogg.

“It's testament to the high regard in which the Devon and Cornwall force is held nationwide. A rigorous, transparent and very fair interview process culminated in a unanimous decision by the five-strong panel. Shaun Sawyer impressed us tremendously with his clear vision for the future of policing in this area and I'm very much looking forward to working closely with him.

“Shaun Sawyer and I have already built an excellent working relationship and I'm confident that will develop further in the future with our joint aim of cutting crime, which he has already made some good progress in since taking temporary charge nearly a year ago.”

Having begun his police career in 1986, initially as a uniformed officer in central London, Mr Sawyer went on to lead covert operations and intelligence for the force from 2005 to 2007, before becoming lead for violent crime and geographic policing in South West London.

In 2008 was appointed head of counter terrorism at Scotland Yard before joining Devon and Cornwall as deputy chief constable in April 2010.

Mr Sawyer said: “I am delighted to have been selected and I look forward to continue working with Tony Hogg to provide the best possible policing service across the peninsula.

“I would like to say how privileged I feel to have been given the opportunity to continue to lead such a dedicated and skilled workforce.

“This is an excellent force and I am proud to have served as both deputy chief constable and temporary chief constable over the past few years.

“The force still faces many challenges over the next few years but I am confident that through the ongoing hard work and dedication of my staff and officers we can continue to drive down crime, protect vulnerable people and provide an excellent policing service to people across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”