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Wiltshire Police Federation

New Chief will bring 'refreshing' approach

19 December 2022

Wiltshire Police’s incoming Chief Constable will bring a refreshing approach to the force, Wiltshire Police Federation has said.

Chair Phil Matthews was speaking after Metropolitan Police Commander Catherine Roper was announced as the preferred candidate for the role.

She is set to be confirmed as the replacement for CC Kier Pritchard by Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime Panel on 12 January.

Phil said: “I am really pleased with the decision the PCC has made here. The favoured candidate being Cdr Roper is an excellent move for Wiltshire Police as a force.

“Having spoken to Cdr Roper, I am confident that she will bring fresh ideas and well-needed change to our force. She has a proven track record and is refreshing in her approach to issues.

“I am very excited to continue the Federation’s collaborative approach to the best possible force we can have. This will benefit my members in having pride in our force again and will benefit our communities in seeing real change happen for the better.

“I am confident that Cdr Roper will do what is necessary to take us out of the engage status.”

Cdr Roper joined the Met in 2000 and began her career in frontline policing, and has taken several roles in specialist intelligence and surveillance command.

She has also worked within the Specialist Protection Command, responsible for the armed protection of politicians and high-profile VIPs and also spent time in Royalty Protection, responsible for armed protection of the Royal Family.

In 2022, Cdr Roper was made responsible for Central Specialist Crime, which includes tackling the most serious organised criminality including economic and cyber crime; modern slavery; and online child sexual exploitation.

Cdr Roper said: “I am honoured and delighted to be selected as the PCC’s preferred candidate to be the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police. I am committed to working with the communities and partners of Wiltshire and Swindon to provide the best possible policing service, building on Kier Pritchard’s exceptional dedication.

“I very much look forward to working with the officers and staff of Wiltshire Police, together with the Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson and his team.”