THE search has begun to find a new chief constable to run Thames Valley Police.

The force are looking to replace out-going head Francis Habgood when he retires at the end of March.

According to Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber, a replacement will be known by early February.

Applications for the job close on New Year's Eve and interviews will be held on January 10 and 11.

The Police and Crime Panel will review the PCC’s appointment process and consider the preferred candidate at a confirmation hearing on February 1.

The new person will take on the role at a time of ever-increasing demand on police time with fewer resources available.