New Merseyside chief constable wants bobbies on the beat to meet public they serve MERSEYSIDE’S first homegrown Chief Constable today said his mission was to make sure his bobbies were out on the streets.
Dad-of-two Jon Murphy, 51, was confirmed as the force’s new top cop yesterday after undergoing a medical and putting pen to paper on a five-year £153,000 a year contract.
Liverpool born-and-bred, he said he was “immensely proud” to be leading his hometown force.
Mr Murphy joined Merseyside police aged 16 as a cadet, just 16 weeks after it changed from being the City of Liverpool Police.
He has spent 28 of his 33 serving years on Merseyside and was known as a “copper’s copper” among colleagues.
After returning to Merseyside for a third time, following stints with the National Crime Squad and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Mr Murphy sat down with the ECHO to outline his vision for his tenure in the top job.
It is expected he will start in early spring after a successor is found for his current role as national co-ordinator for Serious and Organised Crime with ACPO.
Mr Murphy said: “The one thing I will be on a mission for from day one is greater engagement with the public.
“I mean police officers walking the streets talking to people, not as victims or witnesses or to arrest them or hand out fines but just talking to people.”
The “big issues” he expects to face are gun crime, the blight of anti-social behaviour and continuing neighbourhood policing.
He wants to continue the work done by his predecessor, Bernard Hogan-Howe, but sees stormy times ahead for police resources after the Government last week announced savings of half-a-billion pounds needed to be made by forces in the next five years.
Mr Murphy said: “Most recently we have been about tackling gun crime, getting guns off the streets and putting bad people in prison.
“That will remain our absolute priority.
“I am inheriting a force in really good shape. “Bernard Hogan-Howe was an excellent chief who left an outstanding legacy.
“My leadership style is inclusive, supportive and trusting but I expect people to do their job and deliver on behalf of the public of Merseyside.”
When the chance to become Merseyside’s chief came up, Mr Murphy said he jumped at it.
He added: “I will be the first person born in Liverpool to lead the force since it became Merseyside Police.
“It is incredible. Leaving a comprehensive at 16 to join the force and then going on to become the Chief Constable is an achievement of which I am immensely proud.
“I don’t think there is another chief in the country serving their own city. It is something I have always looked to. When this job became available, I didn’t hesitate.” THE ECHO