The former chief constable of Wiltshire Police has landed a new role seven months after leaving the force.

Kier Pritchard, who served in the county force for 30 years before retiring this year, is the new deputy chief constable of the Ministry of Defence Police.

Mr Pritchard announced in late 2022 he was to step down from the role he had held for five years, having taken over as Wiltshire's top cop just before the Novichok attacks in Salisbury and Amesbury.

But the force was plagued by controversy towards the end of his tenure. Last July, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) placed Wiltshire Police in special measures due to concerns about the force's ability to protect vulnerable people and repeat victims of crime, and the way the corganisation managed its money and resources.

And in September, Mr Pritchard issued an apology to the family of Becky Godden-Edwards after an inquiry found 'significant opportunites' were missed by Wiltshire Police before serial killer Christopher Halliwell was finally convicted of her murder.

During his career, Mr Pritchard has held the position of detective in each rank, culminating in leading the force response to major and serious crime as the detective chief superintendent between 2011 and 2014, where he also held national responsibilities through the Homicide Working Group.

As the chair of the Local Resilience Forum in the county, Mr Pritchard has guided partner agencies and the force through the challenges of many major incidents, including the policing response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on his new role, Mr Pritchard said: "I am proud to have been given this opportunity to help lead the MDP, as a force which provides unique, specialist policing to protect the nation’s defence and national infrastructure.

“It will be an honour to serve Defence, and I am looking forward to the new and exciting challenges this will bring, working together with military and policing colleagues.”

Ministry of Defence chief constable Melanie Dales said: “I am delighted that Kier will be joining us as deputy chief constable. His breadth of senior leadership experience in policing will help strengthen the force as we continue to build our capability to serve Defence, improve our culture, and evolve to face new challenges."