THE next Chief Constable of Essex Police has been officially confirmed.

Ben-Julian Harrington - known as BJ - was recommended to replace retiring Stephen Kavanagh for the force's top job by Essex police, fire and crime commissioner Roger Hirst.

His appointment was confirmed by the county's police, fire and crime panel.

Chairman Wendy Schmitt said: "We are in no doubt that he has the passion and drive to lead the force and make a real difference to the people of Essex.”

Mr Harrington has 27 years of experience in the Metropolitan Police as well as in Essex.

He moved over to the county as temporary deputy chief constable in April last year.

Mr Harrington said: “I am hugely proud to have the opportunity to lead Essex Police.

"I joined the service to keep people safe, catch criminals and help people, and that very simple belief will guide me as we strive to make a large and complex county even safer.”

He will start his new role when Mr Kavanagh retires in October.