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'It has been a huge honour': PSNI chief constable George Hamilton to retire in June

Hamilton will have served five years in the post of chief constable and almost 34 years in the police service.

PSNI chief constable George Hamilton
PSNI chief constable George Hamilton
Image: Brian Lawless via PA Images

PSNI CHIEF CONSTABLE George Hamilton is to retire from his role at the end of June. 

Hamilton will have served five years in the post of chief constable and almost 34 years in the police service. 

“I want to thank the Policing Board for their ongoing confidence in me and the offer of a three-year extension to my contract. Having thought long and carefully, I have decided that it is the right time for both me and the PSNI that I retire from policing in June 2019,” Hamilton said. 

“It has been a huge honour to have served the public through policing and without doubt, the greatest privilege of my career has been to serve as chief constable of the PSNI for the last five years,” he said. 

Hamilton entered policing through the RUC Cadet Scheme in August 1983 and was appointed as a substantive constable on 4 August 1985. As a constable, he served in Fermanagh and Belfast. 

He was promoted to sergeant in 1990 at the age of 23. 

In 1994, he was seconded to the Home Office and worked across England and Wales in developing selection and appraisal systems for policing nationally. 

Upon returning to Northern Ireland in early 1997, he returned to front-line operational duty in Lisburn and Belfast. 

In April 2002, he was promoted to chief inspector and appointed to the Criminal Investigations Department in Belfast. 

He was appointed chief superintendent for South and East Belfast in 2007. In the same year he was successful at the Senior National Police Assessment Centre and attended the Strategic Command Course which qualified him for chief officer appointment.

In January 2009, he was selected as assistant chief constable with Strathclyde Police with responsibility for serious crime and public protection. 

In December 2011, he returned to the PSNI as assistant chief constable.

Hamilton was appointed as assistant chief constable for district policing in June 2013 before his appointment as chief constable in June 2014. 

He is also a member of the UK counter-terrorism co-ordinating committee.

“I am privileged and humbled to have led the dedicated officers and staff of the PSNI and to have worked in partnership with so many people committed to public service in Northern Ireland and beyond,” Hamilton said. 

Our society today is a much more peaceful and progressive society than it was when I joined policing over 33 years ago. 
There is no doubt that there are challenges in the months and years ahead, but we have overcome greater challenges in the past and there is nothing that cannot be achieved if police, our partners and the community continue to work together.

“I will continue as chief constable until the end of June 2019 and during that time I remain fully committed to keeping people safe and helping to build a safe, confident and peaceful society.” 

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