CHESHIRE has welcomed a new police chief today.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne has formally taken over the mantle.

He was previously a senior officer in the Metropolitan Police and today re-affirmed his police oath to transfer his commitment to serve the community of Cheshire.

The attestation was witnessed and signed by deputy chairman of the Magistrates’ Association, John Bache.

He said: "As a member of the panel who interviewed Simon, I must say I was very impressed with him and his commitment to help make Cheshire even safer. It was a great honour to welcome him to Cheshire."

Ch Con Simon Byrne said: "This is a really exciting day as I take over leadership of a police force that has a real sense of pride in serving the public and innovating.

"My priorities will be to improve visibility, using the latest tactics to fight crime and equipping front line officers with the right technology, to reduce bureaucracy and stay one step ahead of the criminal."

Since being appointed, he has been spending time speaking to officers and staff about how he wants to move the force forward and getting to know his new patch.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, said: "It’s fantastic to have Simon on board. As Chief Constable designate, he’s been finding his feet and observing how the force operates, which will help him hit the ground running.

"I’m delighted to see the impact that Simon’s presence has already had on the force.

“ Last week, 179 people were arrested as part of Operation Cleansweep which targeted people who were wanted on warrants, failed to turn up at court or were named suspects in criminal investigations.

“This was fantastic work and I’m delighted with the direction the force is taking. There are exciting times ahead."