DURHAM Police’s temporary chief constable looks set to get the job permanently afrter he was nominated for the role.

Mike Barton, 56, who has headed the force since the retirement of Jon Stoddart last year, is the choice of Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

The appointment is expected to be confirmed by the county’s Police and Crime Panel on Monday, February 11 Mr Barton, the only candidate, was interviewed today ( Monday, January 28) by Mr Hogg and a panel of five.

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Mr Hogg said: “Following an intensive morning, I am pleased to recommend Mike Barton’s appointment to the Police and Crime Panel.

“The independent appointment panel and I believe that Mr Barton has convincingly demonstrated the requisite experience and competencies needed for the position of chief constable.

“Whether it was one person or five people who had applied for the chief constable vacancy, the same searching and comprehensive process would have been followed to ensure that the right person is appointed to lead Durham Constabulary in its drive for excellence over the coming years.

“He proved to be a very strong candidate. During his time in Durham, he has got a good track record for delivering: tackling organised crime, improving detection rates and public satisfaction and confidence rates.

“He provided the evidence that he also has a vision, going forward, that we can continue to deliver in times of austerity.”

Mr Barton, who celebrates his 56th birthday today, said: "I am delighted to have the support of the commissioner and his appointment panel.

“Having served in Durham Constabulary for four and a half years I feel I have gained some depth of understanding of the policing needs of our communities, which are diverse and complex.

“If I am appointed I aim to put Durham Constabulary at the forefront of everything that is good in policing.

“As a priority, I will continue to drive up levels of public confidence and satisfaction by putting the community at the heart of everything we do. I see this as a vital common purpose of the Commissioner and the force."

Mr Barton, who has been Temporary Chief Constable since October, has been with the force since moving from Lancashire police in 2008.

He served first as Assistant Chief Constable, and then being appointed Deputy Chief Constable in 2009.

Durham has 1,370 officers, 172 PCSOs, and more than 100 Special Constables, serving a population of 600,000