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Highlands and Islands latest police chief as high-ranking Met officer with experience in Beirut and counter terrorism

By Alan Shields

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Chief Supt Conrad Trickett..Picture: James Mackenzie..
Chief Supt Conrad Trickett..Picture: James Mackenzie..

A new police chief is to take over command of the Highlands and Islands in the New Year.

In early January, chief superintendent Rob Shepherd will take on the role of divisional commander when current chief superintendent Conrad Trickett moves to a national role, helping to shape an initiative known as "Policing in a Digital World".

Chief superintendent Shepherd is transferring to Police Scotland from the Metropolitan Police.

In his current role as chief superintendent front line police headquarters, he is responsible for leading a team that coordinates and supports the 14 commands and 20,000 officers that make up front line policing.

He has played a key role in informing the Met Police response to the recent HMICFRS PEEL report, Baroness Casey report and Commissioner Rowley’s 100 day plan as well as delivering a wide ranging demand vs resource review for response policing.

In the aftermath of the 7/7 terror attacks, chief superintendent Shepherd joined Special Branch before spending more than a decade in counter terrorism.

He was seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for two years where he worked at the British Embassy in Beirut as Police Attaché, and led the strategic policing reform of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.

On his return, he spent a year as senior staff officer to the assistant commissioner for professionalism before taking over the role as superintendent response policing, south area.

Here he led a team of 700 uniformed officers policing a diverse population of just over one million people during some of the Met Police’s most challenging incidents in recent years including the shooting of sergeant Matt Ratana and murder of Sarah Everard.

He also took on the lead role for missing people, designing and delivering new structures, processes and policy for how missing person investigations are carried out across London.

Chief superintendent Shepherd’s connection to the north of Scotland goes back over 40 years to when he lived and went to school in Kinloss.

Assistant Chief Constable for the north, Emma Bond, said: “I would like to put on record my personal and sincere thanks to chief superintendent Trickett.

"He has been of immense support to me since I started in post, and I know he is well-respected among our partners in the Highlands and Islands.

"I wish him all the best for when he starts in his new role next year, and know he will continue to be a strong advocate for the north.

“I am also delighted to confirm the appointment of chief superintendent Shepherd, who will bring a wealth of diverse experience and knowledge to the region.

"Maintaining public confidence in policing has never been so important and it is absolutely crucial that the right people are in place to ensure that local, community policing remains at the heart of what we do.

"I know chief superintendent Shepherd will serve our communities well.”

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