A LONDON Metropolitan senior officer has been announced as Cheshire’s new top cop.

John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner, said Simon Byrne, Assistant Commissioner with the Met, was the ‘outstanding candidate’.

He is set to replace the retiring Dave Whatton on June 25, subject to approval by the Police and Crime Panel, the body that scrutinises Mr Dwyer’s decisions.

It is expected to confirm Mr Byrne’s appointment on February 24 after he was ‘unanimously supported’ by the selection panel.

He said: “I am really excited and privileged to be given the opportunity to lead the constabulary at a critical time in its 157 year history.

“My pledge is to relentlessly fight crime and antisocial behaviour."

Mr Dwyer said, "All of the candidates demonstrated exceptional qualities and they should all be proud of themselves but Simon was an outstanding candidate who was unanimously supported by the appointment panel.

Mr Byrne joined the Met in 1982, before a transfer to Merseyside Police three years later where he took on a variety of uniform, CID and headquarters roles.

In 2006, he was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable in Merseyside Police, before transferring to Deputy Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police in 2009.

It led to the married family man dealing with a period of intense scrutiny from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, removing the force from the threat of intervention from the Home Office.

He re-joined the Met as Assistant Commissioner in 2011, taking on the biggest operational command in the country.

The Association of Chief Police Officers member also co-ordinated a widespread programme of cost-cutting and organisational change.

Mr Byrne has also lead national work on the development and use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems, the re-classification of cannabis and the policing of sex workers and prostitution.

He has also chaired the Pan-London Criminal Justice Board and holds a Masters of Arts degree in police management.