A NEW interim Police and Crime Commissioner has been appointed until the August elections.

At a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel, councillors appointed Kieran Kilgallen, Chief Executive of the Office of the PCC to take on that role from that date until the Police and Crime Commissioner elections on August 19.

The role officially becomes vacant as of July 12 as previous election winner Jonathon Seed cannot legally take office,

An OPCC spokesperson said: “Residents can be confident their policing service has remained unaffected since last month’s election.

“The strategic direction of Wiltshire Police, and priorities, has already been set and the current Police and Crime plan remains in place until the end of the financial year.

“Responsibility for implementing this through operational policing, and the day-to-day running of the Force, remains with the chief constable, Kier Pritchard.

“The precept has already been determined and the budget is in place, so any planned officer recruitment and staffing will continue, alongside any OPCC commissioned or funded services – which also remain in place.

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“The move from the interim measure to an acting PCC, which is happening at the earliest possible point, ensures continued governance, accountability and scrutiny from the Police and Crime Panel and enables the acting PCC to be able to hold the chief constable to account on matters such as gross misconduct or the delivery of policing services, should that become necessary.

“All officers and staff will continue to work hard to protect residents and make sure that our communities remain safe.”

Wiltshire Council chief executive and returning officer, Terence Herbert said: “The OPCC will continue with business as usual until the new election on August 19 when a new Police and Crime Commissioner will be elected.

“In the meantime, we are confident Kieran Kilgallen will ensure the OPCC continues to run effectively and smoothly during the interim period."

Also at the meeting, it was said that the sale of long-term decommissioned police stations such as that of Cricklade and Pewsey will go ahead. The others, which are still proposed for sale, will not be decided upon until a new Police & Crime Commissioner is elected.

Cricklade’s former police station has been taken over by a community benefit society as a community asset.

The High Street location was identified by the police estate as surplus to requirement and the Cricklade Development Foundation was told last week its bid to buy and protect the property had been successful.