FIVE men have been shortlisted for the role of Chief Constable of Essex Police.

Current Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle announced his decision to step down last year.

He wrote to all of the candidates standing for election to the role of police and crime commissioner last October, informing them of his intention to stand down for “personal reasons”.

Since then he has announced that he is expecting to leave his post on May 3 this year.

His possible replacements are: Simon Bailey, Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Police; Derek Benson, Deputy Chief Constable of Essex Police; Mark Gilmore, Deputy Chief Constable of Northumbria Police; Stephen Kavanagh, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service; and Alan Pughsley, Deputy Chief Constable of Kent Police.

Mr Alston said: “I am delighted that we have five exceptional candidates in the running to be the next Chief Constable of Essex Police.

"Essex is an excellent force, and has attracted excellent candidates.”

“I am also delighted that Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle will be remaining in post until 3rd May, 2013, continuing to provide strong leadership for the force.”

*This story corrects an earlier version of this report.