The PSNI’s highest-ranking female officer to leave her role in Northern Ireland policing to take up a high-ranking position with the London’s Met Police.
Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray, who currently heads up the PSNI’s crime operations department, is to assume the role of the Met’s deputy assistant commissioner.
The role is one of the most senior positions within the Met Police, which is led by commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.
Policing Board member Mervyn Storey said he had offered his congratulations to Ms Gray directly in a phone conversation on Monday.
“I think it is a great loss to the PSNI. Barbara Gray is one of the most dedicated, hard-working officers in the PSNI,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“She is someone who has carried out one of the most demanding roles within the PSNI, and she has carried it out with a great degree of professionalism and is a very personable individual.
“I spoke to Barbara and conveyed that to her. Our loss is the Met’s gain, there’s no doubt.”
He stressed that it would be a great opportunity for the Assistant Chief Constable.
“I think it’s a great reflection of the calibre and ability of our police officers that they can only apply [to the Met] but can be successful,” explained the North Antrim MLA.
Policing Board chair Doug Garrett also offered his congratulations to Ms Gray, adding the police watchdog will now discuss with Chief Constable Simon Byrne arrangements for appointing her successor.
“Assistant Chief Constable Gray has made a significant contribution to policing in Northern Ireland throughout her career and the Board congratulates her on her appointment as Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police Service,” he said.
An official PSNI profile on Ms Gray describes the senior officer as having a “considerable range of experience having served in many areas” across Northern Ireland.
The Assistant Chief Constable was appointed to her current PSNI role last June after having acted on temporary basis in the role since 2017.
The senior officer has led on various areas of policy development including policing with the community, and is an ambassador for the Northern Ireland Community Foundation.
Source: (Belfast Telegraph)