Police chief Justine Curran: 'I want to send out positive message to inspire'
THE new chief constable of Humberside Police has spoken of her pride at becoming the first woman to lead the force.
Justine Curran's appointment to the £139,119-a-year job was unanimously approved by the police and crime panel yesterday, as first revealed on the Mail's website.
Ms Curran, 45, will take up the role in April after current chief constable Tim Hollis retires.
The mother-of-two said she hopes she will inspire other female police officers.
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"It's great to become the first female chief constable," she said. "If that can send a positive message to female police officers in particular, but anybody really, then I am really pleased.
"I am a normal woman with two kids and a dog and if I can get this job, it shows that opportunities are open to everybody."
During the hearing to confirm her appointment, panel member and Hull city councillor Colin Inglis said the lack of senior women in the force was a concern.
He told Ms Curran: "If there still is a ceiling of any material, you have broken through it. We have never had a female officer above the rank of chief superintendent and here you are, about to become the first female chief constable."
Humberside police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove described Ms Curran as a "modern-day" police officer.
She has been the chief constable of Tayside Police in Scotland for almost four years.
He said: "I didn't appoint her because she is a woman, it is because she is a first-class police officer who has vision and passion for the job.
"Her frontline policing experience is second to none and she has what is needed to drive down crime across the Humberside force area.
"She is a modern, forward-thinking police officer for the 21st century and I am looking forward to working with her."
Mr Grove nominated Ms Curran for the post after interviewing her and two other candidates.
His choice needed to be confirmed by the panel, who yesterday questioned Ms Curran for 90 minutes before voting unanimously to appoint her.
She said: "It was challenging, but it has helped me understand some of the different issues there are across the area.
"I found it challenging, but rightly so, and now I am relieved and delighted to have been appointed.
"I think Humberside will be a really exciting place to work. It has a real mix of challenging urban towns and cities and rural areas.
"The force is in a good place and Tim Hollis has done a fantastic job, but there are more and more challenges ahead. I want us to go from strength to strength."
Ms Curran, a former University of Hull student, said she is looking forward to returning to the area with her family.
"The next few weeks will be busy finding a house and schools, but it is all very exciting," she said.