HAMPSHIRE’S Deputy Chief Constable has announced that he is retiring at the end of the year – just a year after taking the post.

DCC Craig Denholm will leave at Christmas following a career in policing spanning nearly 32 years.

Before heading to Hampshire last year he had hit the headlines after he was the senior officer at the centre of “collective amnesia” over the alleged hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone.

The search to replace him is already under way, with the five-year fixed term role advertised online with a salary of £128,520.

DCC Denholm came to Hampshire in May last year, having transferred from Surrey Police.

He was appointed to the same position as he held in Surrey, despite being sanctioned after an investigation found that the force knew for a decade that News of the World reporters had gained access to the youngster’s phone.

As the man in charge of the Dowler inquiry, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found it “hard to understand” how he could have not been made aware of hacking allegations.

But at the time of the appointment, Hampshire’s Chief Constable Andy Marsh said that DCC Denholm, who was brought up in Fareham, was “experienced and very capable”, with “a good track record of leadership”.

In a letter to prospective candidates, Chief Constable Marsh writes: “I am looking for someone who can work alongside me to lead an exciting and challenging phase of change whilst maintaining and building upon the excellent services and public confidence for which Hampshire has such a strong reputation.”

The closing date for applications is August 11.