EIGHT people have applied to be the new Chief Constable of Gloucestershire as the force's budget shrinks.

Out of the applicants, six are currently working as Deputy Chief Constables and two as Assistant Chief Constables or equivalent ranks in forces in England and Wales.

None of the candidates work for Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Six men and two women submitted their applications by the deadline of Wednesday, December 19 and a five-strong panel will interview shortlisted candidates on January 8, 2013.

After the interviews, Independent Advisor Pauline Dixon will submit a report to Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Panel and ask it to confirm the appointment when it meets on January 14.

The Constabulary’s temporary Chief Constable, Mick Matthews, leaves Gloucestershire at the end of January to take up the post of Chief Constable of the Sovereign Base Areas Police Service in Cyprus.

It is hoped that the new Chief Constable will be able to take up the post as soon as possible after the selection process.

New Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said interest in the post was a reflection of Gloucestershire’s good reputation and that clear priorities were in place.

"The good number of candidates and their high calibre is testament to the excellent reputation, not just of our policing here in Gloucestershire but our work with partner organisations too," he said.

One challenge facing the new constable will be operating with a smaller budget as Gloucestershire are set to receive a grant of £58.4 million pounds from central government for 2013-14 - a reduction of 1.6 per cent on the current financial year.

"This comes as no surprise," said Mr Surl.

"It is within the boundaries of what we were expecting and with careful planning we should be able to maintain a good service to the public.

"I will now be sitting down with my finance team to study the detail before finalising the budget for next year".