THE Chief Constable of Dorset Police, Martin Baker, will step down at the end of this month.

Mr Baker has been in the role since 2005.

The chairman of Dorset Police Authority, Michael Taylor, said: “The police authority wishes to express its appreciation for the huge contribution Mr Baker has made to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the force.

“Under his leadership crime has consistently fallen and public confidence increased, despite unprecedented cuts in funding.”

Mr Baker, pictured, said: “After eight years as Chief Constable in Dorset and over 38 years as a serving police officer, I feel the time is right to hand over leadership of the force.

“I consider it a privilege to have been the Chief Constable of such an excellent force, the success of which has been entirely due to the commitment, drive and ability of our police officers, police staff, special constables and volunteers who – every minute of every hour of every day – work to make Dorset even safer.

“I would particularly like to thank my wife and my three daughters for their immense support throughout my policing career.

“They have cheerfully endured all of the house moves and the endless new schools and I cannot fully express to them my immense gratitude.”

The police authority has appointed Debbie Simpson as Acting Chief Constable and she will take up her new role on October 1.