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Experienced safeguarding detective Tonya Antonis joined Durham as Assistant Chief Constable at the end of February 2022.

Although she has held a variety of roles in policing, for much of her 26-career she has specialised in Safeguarding, managing a number of high-profile investigations into Child Abuse; Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Children; Adult Abuse; Honour Base Abuse; Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking.

On her appointment she said: “Durham is a great police force and I have been struck by the pride people have in the organisation, and how determined they are about preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, supporting victims and making sure criminals face justice for the harm they cause.  I feel truly privileged to become part of this team.

“The county is a safe place to live but there are still those who are vulnerable and exploited.  I am passionate about protecting people by tackling offenders and reducing crime.

Tonya joined Suffolk Constabulary in 1996 and served most of her policing career with the East Anglian force, first in uniformed roles and then as a detective.

Alongside her Safeguarding roles, she has previously held the role of County Policing Commander, with a background in public order, and has worked in both Cyber and Intelligence.

Tonya has a keen interest in diversity in policing and played a key role in the recent National Policing Uplift Programme, where she helped devise and design the nationally-adopted Diversity, Equality and Inclusion strategy to bring under-represented groups into the service.

Away from work, Hertfordshire-born Tonya represented Great Britain in the gruelling sport of triathlon and won silver at the 2010 Duathlon European Championships held in France.