MANSFIELD and Ashfield’s new police chief says his number one priority will be making sure people feel safe in their communities.
Chief Supt Ak Khan has taken charge as divisional commander at Mansfield Police Station and will be leading policing operations across the two districts, as well as Newark and Sherwood and Bassetlaw.
He takes over from Chief Supt Dave Wakelin, who retired earlier this month after 30 years with the force.
“Policing is about making sure the public are safe, but also about making them feel safe,” Chief Supt Khan said as he settled into his new role this week.
“As well as reducing overall crime, tackling the issues affecting people’s quality of life, such as anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, are things I would like us to focus on.
“In the past we have tended to assume we know what and where the problems lie and base our policing on those assumptions.
“I would like us to assume less and know more and that means listening to our communities.
“That way we can get to the root of the actual problems and, through collaborative work with our partners, solve them.”
Chief Supt Khan is no stranger to Mansfield having served as head of the former Mansfield and Ashfield division from 2002 to 2006.
“I’m actually back in the same office as I was in 2002 seeing a lot of familiar faces and dealing with many of the same issues,” he said. “What’s changed is that we have a much better grip on many of the issues now.”
He has an unusual background for a senior police officer having studied crop science as a university student.
“At that time it would have taken quite the leap for me to believe I would be swapping my lab coat for a police uniform,” he said.
His police career began as a Pc in St Ann’s, Nottingham, in 1986 and he worked at other stations in the city until 1991 when he moved to Hucknall as an inspector.
He has also served stints as head of a major crime unit, head of operations in the city and most recently as part of the East Midlands Collaboration team.
“I’d like to thank my predecessor Chief Supt Dave Wakelin who has paved the way for me and has left large shoes to fill,” he added. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done.”