A NEW police chief will take command of Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley from Monday.
Chief Superintendent Bob Eastwood takes over from Chief Superintendent Andy Rhodes as temporary divisional commander and said his experience of East Lancashire would stand him in good stead for the challenges ahead.
Blackburn-born Mr Eastwood said his two years heading up the Lancashire Constabulary’s Diversity and Community Cohesion unit gave him a strong insight into race relations.
“It prepared me to deal internally and externally in respect of people with different backgrounds, culture, religions, age, and ability and work towards treating everybody fairly, regardless of those differences.
“A big thing for me coming back to Blackburn is that I’ve had a lot of contact with all different communities in the division and I have a good understanding of those communities.
“I’ve been an inspector here for many years and have a good understanding of the policing problems and the strength of our partnerships.”
Mr Eastwood has been with Lancashire Constabulary for over 24 years and has worked in a variety of roles including emergency response, geographic, CID and major crime.
In his career, Ch Supt Eastwood has been involved in some major investigations which have required him to carry out inquiries in Europe, Holland, Belgium, France and America.
He added: “I hope to continue the excellent work which is already being done.
"People can be confident that all officers and staff working in the division are committed to resolving community issues, reducing crime and bringing offenders to justice, whilst delivering a first-class service to the public.”
>> BOB EASTWOOD’S CAREER SO FAR
Started out as a cadet, aged 16, in 1984.
First posting as a PC in Bamber Bridge.
Joined Preston CID in 1988.
Left the force in 1990 to study law, psychology, politics and international relations at Lancaster University.
Returned in 1993 as a sergeant in Fylde.
First came to Blackburn in 1998 and had a number of roles across Eastern division, before joining Blackburn CID as a reactive Detective Inspector.
Spent 12 months from 2002 with the force’s major crime unit investigating a drug trafficking case.
After spells in Northern division, came back to Blackburn for four months in 2007 as temporary operations manager.
October 2007 became head of the Constabulary’s Diversity and Community Cohesion.
November 2009 returned as Superintendent at Blackburn.
January 2010 – promoted to Chief Superintendent.