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Cumbria chief appointed leader of women in policing organisation

Chief Constable Michelle Skeer

Cumbria Constabulary Chief Constable Michelle Skeer has been appointed the new President for the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP).

The BAWP is a national organisation that embraces women of all ranks and grades within the police service and works towards gender equality.

Michelle will take over from Chief Constable Dee Collins from West Yorkshire Police, who has retired after 31 years of policing.

On her appointment Chief Constable Skeer said: “I am delighted to be taking over the President role, following the fantastic leadership of Dee Collins. A very dedicated and hugely productive committee – looking forward to working with them.

“I have been passionate about making it easier for others who have followed me, so I have championed issues within the Force – whether it be part-time working, job share, buddy schemes, mentoring/ coaching or uniform issues to name but a few.

“I continue to chair the Valuing Individual Group in force, which I have done since 2008, which brings together support groups covering all strands of diversity, including gender.

“I want to improve things in force for all diverse groups, providing these support groups with a strategic voice.”

Michelle joined Cumbria Police in 1990. She worked in numerous operational roles before moving into criminal investigations. She was appointed as Cumbria’s Director of Professional Standards in 2007, and in 2009 became an Assistant Chief Constable. In the same year, she served as Gold Commander during the catastrophic floods in the county. Michelle’s long list of positions doesn’t end there. She later became the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders.

Michelle was given a BAWP Leadership Award in 2015 for her work championing Gender issues, and was awarded the QPM in 2017. In 2018 she was promoted to Chief Constable, becoming the first home grown Chief in Cumbria and also the first woman at the helm.

She has also chalked up a lot of other firsts in Cumbria, being the first female D/Sgt, first female DI, DCI, D/ Supt and D/Ch Supt. She was also the first to work part-time in a specialist department after having three children.

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