LANCASHIRE Special Constabulary’s deputy chief officer has been appointed as the new chief officer.

Paul Airlie, who joined the specials in 1997, takes over from former chief officer Nigel Walters, who stepped down from the role in July due to personal commitments.

Mr Airlie had held the deputy post since the organisational review of the specials in 2011, having previously worked in Kirkham, Lytham St Annes and Blackpool.

He said: "I am delighted to accept the role of chief officer. The special constabulary in Lancashire now has almost 500 officers and we continue to grow in both numbers and professionalism.

“I am committed to working with special and regular colleagues to ensure that we continue to support local policing priorities and play our part in maintaining a quality service.”

By day, the 43-year-old is an assistant director with the Home Office’s immigration enforcement based in Salford.

Mr Airlie said: “It can be difficult to juggle the two roles, but it’s all about time management and being really disciplined, as well as understanding what needs to be done as a priority.”