Merseyside's Police Commissioner has today welcomed Andy Cooke to the role of Chief Constable on his first day in charge of Merseyside Police.
Chief Constable Cooke has a significant amount of experience in policing Merseyside having started his career with Merseyside Police in 1985. During the last 30 years he has worked his way up through the ranks and has served at every rank as a detective.
Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy, said: "I welcome Andy to his new role. Like Sir Jon Murphy, Andy has served at every rank in Merseyside Police from Constable to Chief Constable.
“Andy has wide experience of policing, is very well respected in the policing community and already holds a number of significant national roles including the Queen’s Police Medal. He clearly has the leadership qualities to take Merseyside Police forward and to continue to deliver the high quality of policing that people here on Merseyside expect and deserve.
“I look forward to working with our new Chief Constable in the months and years ahead and wish him every success.”
Chief Constable Cooke's experience within the force gives him a solid understanding of the challenges faced by the force and he is committed to ensuring that the force puts the communities of Merseyside at the forefront of everything it does.
Chief Constable Cooke, explained: “I am proud to have been given the opportunity to lead the force responsible for policing the county I grew up in. I have lived in Merseyside all my life and I am determined to continue to give the communities of Merseyside an excellent police service, despite the backdrop of cuts to the service.
“I am really looking forward to leading the outstanding officers and staff of Merseyside Police during what is a significant period of change and challenge.
"My main aim is to protect the communities of Merseyside and I intend to do that by having the right people in the right place so we are as effective and efficient as we can be. Our budget has been cut significantly and I would like to reassure the public that we will make best use of every penny we spend, whilst continuing to protect the public of Merseyside on a daily basis.”
He added: “There are many challenges for me and the force going forward and we will meet them head on. I want to establish a modern force with traditional values, that is capable of tackling the emerging threats of cyber crime and child sexual exploitation.
“The more traditional crimes of robbery and burglary are not as prevalent as they used to be, but they have been overtaken by cyber crime. When we were dealing with robbery and burglary it was much more simple, nine times out of 10 the offender lived locally and it was easier to detect. With cyber crime the offender probably doesn’t even live in the area and could even be in another country, investigations in to these types of offences are much more complex, and sadly the impact is huge. Most people today have computers, smart phones, and tablets, and the advancement in technologies has led to members of the public falling prey to crime (from fraud to online grooming) in their own homes.
“Whilst we are committed to putting offenders involved in this type of crime behind bars, we are also determined to help the public understand how they can take measures to help protect themselves from falling prey to this type of crime.
“I am proud to come from Liverpool and have a real passion for the city where I grew up. It is a real honour to now be able to be at the forefront of making our communities safer and encouraging others (visitors and businesses) to come in to Merseyside and realise what the county has to offer.”
During his career Mr Cooke has worked on numerous high profile investigations including murder, counter terrorism and covert corruption enquiries.
He was instrumental in the development of, and the first Commander of, the nationally recognised Matrix team, which was set up to tackle gun and gang crime in 2005.
He was also responsible for Operation Seahog, which tackled serious and organised crime within the security industry on Merseyside in the run up to Capital of Culture in 2008, the success of this operation was recognised at a national level and was taken up by the Metropolitan Police prior to the Olympics in 2012.
In 2008 Mr Cooke left Merseyside Police for a short period of time having been promoted to Assistant Chief Constable at Lancashire Constabulary with the responsibility for Specialist Operations. Whilst there he developed strategies to improve the safety of communities in Lancashire, developed the County’s ANPR capability and commanded a number of high profile public order demonstrations. He later took on the role for Territorial Operations, Criminal Justice and Contact Management, achieving considerable reductions in crime and increased detections against a backdrop of significant cuts and resources.
He returned to Merseyside as Deputy Chief Constable in June 2012