Two apply to be Herts police chief constable but only one is interviewed – as recruitment consultant is overruled

Charlie Hall will be Hertfordshire's new chief constable

Charlie Hall will be Hertfordshire's new chief constable - Credit: Lenore Everson

Just two people applied to become Herts’ new chief constable, and only one was interviewed – despite a recruitment consultant’s recommendation that both be considered.

A report on the appointment process reveals that despite extensive publicity both in the UK and overseas, only two applicants came forward for the £159,000-per-year job, neither of them from abroad.

Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd and Carolyn Dhanraj of the College of Policing, the latter of whom authored the report, decided to only interview one candidate – the eventual appointee, Charlie Hall.

According to Ms Dhanraj’s report, this was because “one candidate demonstrated in their application form clear evidence to enable them to be selected for interview. The other candidate did not.”

The process by which this conclusion was reached is described as follows: “The two interview panel members individually assessed the application forms against the set criteria using the College of Policing approved rating scale.”

Only Mr Lloyd and Ms Dhanraj took part in this. They were later joined on the interview panel by Herts County Council chief executive John Wood and former Herts high sheriff Gerald Corbett.

Tim Burton, the independent recruitment consultant appointed by Mr Lloyd to search for candidates and carry out initial interviews, recommended on July 25 that both applicants be interviewed – but Ms Dhanraj writes in her report that the panel decided that interviewing only one candidate remained ‘the correct decision despite Mr Burton’s report’.

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No further reasoning is given for overruling Mr Burton, and it is unclear from Ms Dhanraj’s report if Mr Wood and Mr Corbett had joined the panel by this point.

On August 1, Mr Hall – then Norfolk’s deputy chief constable – met a 16-man stakeholder panel, then the interview panel.

Mr Lloyd, supported by the three other interview panel members, recommended Mr Hall, whose appointment was confirmed by the Herts Police and Crime Panel on August 9. Mr Hall is expected to start as chief constable in October.

Ms Dhanraj reported to the Police and Crime Panel afterwards that she was ‘wholly satisfied’ that Mr Lloyd had ensured the assessment process was in accordance with College of Policing guidance, and ‘confident’ the proceedings had been ‘fair, transparent and merit-based’.

Mr Lloyd’s deputy chief executive Gavin Miles said: “The process was carried out fairly and in accordance with Home Office rules. A paid consultant recommended interviewing both candidates but, as this view was not held by the shortlisting panel, the decision was made to continue with one candidate only.”