Patrick Geenty has been confirmed as the new Chief Constable for Wiltshire.

Mr Geenty has been Acting Chief Constable of the force since March last year.

He and two other candidates were interviewed for the job yesterday and his appointment as the permanent Chief Constable was announced this morning by Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson.

Mr Macpherson is the first Commissioner in the country to appoint a permanent Chief Constable.

Mr Macpherson announced soon after he was elected Commissioner last November that he wanted to appoint a substantive chief constable.

When he was appointed Acting Chief Constable Mr Geenty said he intended to apply for the job permanently.

At the time he said: “I love Wiltshire, I think the staff of Wiltshire are fantastic. I really enjoy being Chief Constable and I would like to lead the force through the next couple of years, as they will bring the most significant change in my service and I would like to shape some of that.”

Mr Geenty has been a police officer for 30 years and has served at Wiltshire Police since July 2009. He joined as Assistant Chief Constable and became Deputy Chief Constable in 2011 following the suicide of David Ainsworth. He became Acting Chief Constable on a 12 month temporary contract in March 2012 when Chief Constable Brian Moore was seconded to lead the UK Border Force.

Mike White, chairman of Wiltshire Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, welcomed the appointment of Mr Geenty as Chief Constable.

Mr White said: “I congratulate him on his appointment as Chief Constable and look forward to working with him. It will bring stability to the force.

“He is a very approachable Chief Constable and I think he has got the skills and abilities to lead this force through the challenges that will come.

“He is clearly committed to delivering the best police service for the people of Wiltshire. He has an open door policy for us. He is open to us having a disagreement with him which creates a healthy environment to raise difficult issues. “It’s going to be a difficult time in the police service, both locally and nationally. There are changes and cuts we have to make.”