In this section you will find information relating to how the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner works.

The Police and Crime Commissioner receives an annual salary of £88,600 per year which is set by the Home Secretary.

Ruth Durham,   Chief of Staff (Chief Executive)          £76,206

(In post since November 2017).

Steven Hume,   VRU Manager                                    £73,020

(Funded through Home Office, Violence Reduction Unit funding).

The job description for the Chief of Staff and Monitoring Officer for Northumbria can be found by clicking on the link below

Chief of Staff Job Description

Government legislation states that we need to tell you if any member of staff receives more than £58,200.

In this section you will find information relating to the staff who work within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable share a number of services in their roles that represents better value for money. These services are:

  • Finance
  • Strategic Communications
  • Consultation
  • Research and Performance Analysis
  • Estates and Property
  • Business Planning/Risk Management
  • ICT
  • HR
  • Legal


A Service Level Agreement provides the statement of intent between the Police and Police and Crime Commissioner to work in partnership and to define an effective working relationship.

The Police and Crime Commissioner also has a contract with Gateshead Council to carry out Internal Audit of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Northumbria Police accounts.

Legal Services for property transactions are provided through a contract between the Police and Crime Commissioner and North Tyneside Council.

View the Staff Structure of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner here (May 24).


Northumbria Police Chief Constable Recruitment

December 2022 

Following the news that Chief Constable Winton Keenen QPM DL had notified the Police and Crime Commissioner of his intention to retire with effect from March 2023 therefore meaning a comprehensive recruitment process was implemented to find the new Chief Constable for Northumbria.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner ensured that the recruitment process met legislative requirements and was developed in accordance with the College of Policing ‘Guidance for Appointing Chief Officers’ 2018. This process ensured that it was fair, transparent, and open.  To ensure this I included an independent member on the appointments panel and also included stakeholders from local authorities, businesses and community organisations in the appointment process.

The vacancy was widely advertised on the Senior Leaders Hub, College of Policing Website and Northumbria Police Website.  A comprehensive candidate pack provided information about Northumbria, the Police and Crime Plan and the role of the Chief Constable along with an overview of the recruitment process and timeline. Three applications were received for the position of Chief Constable for Northumbria.

An extensive appointment process was undertaken to test all candidates ability with each stage of the process explained below:

Initial Contact

Candidates were encouraged to take up the offer of an informal discussion with the PCC regarding the role and there was an option of a familiarisation visit to the force to engage with relevant police officers and staff members and key stakeholders across Northumbria.  All three candidates took advantage of this offer and ultimately three applications were received by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Formal Written Application

Potential candidates had to complete a formal application form as for any job, which included past experience and specific questions relating to the role and the challenges faced by Northumbria Police.

Application Shortlisting

Shortlisting was carried out by the Police and Crime Commissioner and Patrick Melia, Chief Executive Officer Sunderland City Council and supported by Helen Cooksley a Professional Development & Assessment Partner from Northumbria Police People and Organisational Development.  A tailored assessment pack was provided to support the shortlisting and the panel was briefing in advance of the meeting.  The pack included the Rank Profile and details of key accountabilities, leadership and education, qualifications, skills and experience required from the role.  It provided information about unconscious bias ensuring that the shortlisting assessment was evidence-based, fair and objective. Being aware of unconscious bias and any barrier to effective assessment can assist greatly in improving fairness and objectivity.

The panel used an evidence-based approach of reading and evaluating the evidence provided by each candidate in response to six application questions included in the application form.

Application forms from three candidates were independently assessed and the evidence was discussed at the shortlisting meeting.  Each applicant was assessed to determine if they met the required shortlisting standard and could progress to the selection process.  All three applicants for the role were determined to have met the required standard to be shortlisted and continued to the formal interview process.

Stakeholder Engagement Process

Given the Chief Constable is an important public role whose impact is beyond the direct delivery of policing services the selection process was designed to provide an opportunity for a number of key stakeholders to meet the shortlisted candidates.  The input of stakeholders brings additional perspective and context to the appointment as the panel questions and interacts with the candidate to assess their level of awareness and understanding of the various sectors and communities in Northumbria.

Two stakeholder panels were involved in the process with partners from a range of organisations in the statutory and voluntary and community sector forming a Joint Accountability and People and Communities Panels.  Representatives from Northumbria Police staff associations were also part of the panels.

Feedback from the groups were presented to the formal interview panel for information.  The stakeholder panel are not part of the formal assessment process.

Formal Interview and Presentation

The significance of the Chief Constable role was reflected with a suitably skilled and experienced senior interview panel.  The members of the panel have extensive experience of recruiting at a senior executive level.

Members of the interview panel were:

  • Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Patrick Melia, Chief Executive Sunderland City Council (Independent Member)
  • John McCabe, Chief Executive North East Chamber of Commerce

In addition, it is appropriate for a PCC to ask a panel member to act in a professional advisory capacity around policing around the fit of candidates experience and skills with the policing specific requirements of the role. John Campbell QPM, Chief Constable for Thames Valley Police agreed to join the panel in a policing advisory role only.

The first part of the assessment was a 15-minute presentation by the candidate on which they were then asked a series of question.  The second part of the assessment was the formal interview where candidates were asked eight questions.

Panel Assessment 

A Chief Constable Assessor Pack was provided to the Interview Panel Members in advance of the interviews together with copies of the application forms.

The pack set out the Chief Constable rank profile including the role purpose, key accountabilities and required education skills and experience and leadership expectations in Northumbria Police guiding the panel to consider these as part of their assessment.  The panel role is to ensure they get as much evidence from the candidate as possible, which means that at time additional questions may be asked.

This is normal for this type of assessment.  Guidance was given to panel members around the use of probing questions, ensuring they are relevant to the question being asked and will elicit evidence from the candidate in relation to the areas being assessed, are open questions and are not leading questions.

Overall considerations for the assessment focus on whether the candidate is future focussed, have the right skills, behaviours and personal qualities to successfully lead an empowered and diverse workforce.  For each aspect of the assessment a score rating was used. The interview panel agreed a minimum expected score before the interviews commenced.

The candidates were all scored at the end of the formal interview on a scale of 0 (no evidence) through to 4 (very strong) against each of the structured questions and presentation.

Vanessa Jardine scored highly during this process and it was the consensus of the interview panel that she was the most suitable candidate for the position.

She demonstrated through her application form, engagement with key stakeholders and throughout her formal interview that she has the requisite depth of operational experience coupled with the desired leadership qualities, skills and ability to lead Northumbria Police in the future.

Police and Crime Panel Confirmation Hearing

Following the recruitment process as discussed above, the Commissioner proposed the appointment of Vanessa Jardine as Chief Constable of Northumbria Police to the Police and Crime Panel on 13th December 2022.

At this meeting the Police and Crime Panel formally agreed the appointment of Vanessa Jardine as Chief Constable of Northumbria Police. You can read a copy of the Police and Crime Panel Appointment report by clicking on the following link: Report and recommendation to PCC on CC Appointment