New CFO Nikki Watson

Nikki Watson will join Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service as Chief Fire Officer on Thursday 16 May.

Following the conclusion of an IOPC investigation, which found that there was no case to answer in respect of any of the allegations against her, Nikki is ready to start her new role.

Nikki, who retired from a 36-year career in policing last year, said that she is hugely excited to join Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“I am thrilled to be joining Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, which plays such a vital role in keeping the community safe,” Nikki Watson said.

“I have devoted my whole career to public service. I am passionate about public safety, and I know that the firefighters and staff that I will lead are proudly committed to doing their best for the people of Northamptonshire. I’m looking forward to taking the Service forward to meet the challenges of this busy and growing county.

“I am also incredibly grateful to Simon Tuhill and the chief officer team for having shown great leadership through a challenging time for everyone. I’m looking forward to working with Simon and the new Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Danielle Stone,” Nikki Watson added.

Nikki has a wealth of experience in senior public service leadership and during her policing career, leading in command roles spanning public order, firearms, and counter terrorism.

She chaired the Local Resilience Forum and managed the response to major incidents to mitigate disruption to communities from events such as major flooding and the Covid pandemic. When she retired, she was Deputy Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Danielle Stone, said: “I have satisfied myself that the recruitment process last year for the new Chief Fire Officer was carried out with integrity and rigour and I am happy to follow the proper process and welcome Nikki Watson to her new role.

“I will support Nikki in her work with the wider chief officer team, so that she can successfully drive forward the changes that will make our communities safer and create better, safer working environments for firefighters and staff.”