THE head of Gloucestershire Constabulary has announced he will be leaving his job, after less than six months in the role.
Chief Constable Mick Matthews revealed yesterday he will stand down in the spring.
He took on the role in June following the departure of Tony Melville and was expected to stay for 18 months.
But in a statement said he would be taking on an international policing role in Cyprus.
He said: "I was planning to speak to our new Police and Crime Commissioner before making any formal announcement, but due to circumstances out of my control I have informed the organisation.
"I feel privileged to have led the constabulary during this short period of time. The next chief constable will inherit an excellent team of people."
Mr Melville left after two years at the helm after warning funding cuts could take the force to a "metaphorical cliff edge".
He managed cuts which resulted in the closure of more than a dozen stations and put 184 officer posts and 300 civilian roles at risk.
The news came as voters today go to the polls to elect the county's first Police and Crime Commissioner.
All those in the running for the £65,000-a-year role were privately told the news.
Independent candidate Martin Surl said: "I am not surprised, but wish him well. Employing a chief constable to take us forward will be an important early job for the commissioner now."
Conservative Victoria Atkins added: "I would like to thank him for his many years of service, not just in Gloucestershire, but in the police."
Rupi Dhanda, for the Labour Party, said: "He has been doing a very good job, he is well respected by all the officers and I think it is a real shame."
The Echo was unable to reach Lib Dem candidate Alistair Cameron.