The Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire police says the time is right to step down after almost five years in the role.

Simon Parr, who is 54, has today (Tuesday) announced his decision to retire. He will remain in post until the end of July.

In a statement released by the force, he admitted to having “mixed feelings” about leaving.

Mr Parr said: “It is with mixed feelings that I am formally announcing my retirement from policing after nearly 32 years' service.

“There is never a perfect time to leave a role that I have enjoyed as much as this, but with a new government in place, a new round of spending challenges to be met, and, no doubt, other unseen challenges to be tackled, this seems in my judgement to be the right time for me to hand over the stewardship of the organisation to someone who will lead the constabulary through the next five years.

“It has been an enormous privilege to spend so much time in public service and I am honoured to have held the office of constable for so long.”

Mr Parr joined the county's police force in September 2010 following six years at Hertfordshire police, three of those as Deputy Chief Constable.

He had previously spent 20 years with Sussex Police.

A force spokesman said Mr Parr intended to spend more time with his family but had not ruled out returning to work. “He has stated that he will look at opportunities as and when they arise,” he added.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright, paid tribute to Mr Parr. “I have worked closely with Simon since I came into office in November 2012 and we have maintained an excellent personal and professional relationship throughout.

“Simon's clear vision for how a modern constabulary should operate has seen a significant change in the culture of the organisation as officers and staff adopt new ways of working and are empowered to make decisions.

“Simon leaves behind a strong, effectively run constabulary that is well placed to face the challenges ahead. While I am sorry to see him go I would like to thank him for all he has done and wish him well for the future.”

Deputy Chief Constable Alec Wood will become Acting Chief Constable until a replacement is found.