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Shades of Morse for chief of 'low morale' police

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: May 24, 2012

  • Chief Superintendent Julie Fielding, the new police commander for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, in her office at Truro Police Station. Ref:TRJJ20120516B-002_C

  • Chief Superintendent Julie Fielding, the new police commander for Cornwall.

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CORNWALL'S latest police chief is a classic car-driving lover of Scandinavian crime novels.

Chief superintendent Julie Fielding, 42, drives a 1965 E-type Jaguar – fittingly in the same shade of red as the famous car owned by fictional TV sleuth Inspector Morse.

The new woman in charge – the fourth commander in as many years – acknowledged it is a challenging time to take the helm in the fight against crime in Cornwall.

She admitted officer morale is low in the face of cuts to budgets and staffing levels but insists the force will continue to safeguard the public by finding new ways of working.

Mrs Fielding has taken over from Chris Boarland who held the post from November 2010 and is now acting assistant chief constable for the Devon and Cornwall force.

She said: "Morale is low and it's a priority of mine to look at ways to improve it.

"I'll be working with the Police Federation and unions to find ways to support our colleagues who are under pressure.

Off-duty officers from Devon and Cornwall recently joined colleagues in London to march in protest over government changes to pay and conditions.

"It's tough for officers at the moment," said Mrs Fielding.

"I'll be looking at ways to reduce red tape to free up officers."

Devon and Cornwall Police is in the process of cutting staff levels from 3,500 to 2,800 by 2015.

Mrs Fielding said with less officers she would be working with local communities to make sure police resources were targeted in the right places.

Married to Nick, who works in timing systems for motor sports races, the couple share a love of classic cars.

She is currently studying on a three-year masters in business administration (MBA) at Exeter University and is due to graduate in January. In any spare time she has she enjoys walking in the countryside and reading crime fiction such as Stieg Larsson's, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Born in Somerset, Mrs Fielding left school at 16 with three O levels and two CSEs before working for the electricity board for seven years.

At 23, she joined the Devon and Cornwall force, spending two years at Exeter before a new posting to Cornwall where she worked in response and CID at police stations including Newquay, Truro and St Austell. As she rose through the ranks she spent time in departments including intelligence, public protection and youth affairs.

More recently, she worked at national level for the Inspectorate of Policing and in Devon, managing crime investigations within the county.

For 14 of her 19 years in the service, she has worked in Cornwall.

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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