The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has hired Chris Watts for the newly-created role of head of integrity assurance.

Watts assumes his new role in July and will provide strategic leadership on integrity-based functions and oversee investigative and licensing processes.

The new integrity position at the BHA has been established in response to an integrity review published by the Authority in March last year.

Watts joins from the England and Wales Cricket Board, where he helped establish the body's anti-corruption unit in 2011 and served as anti-corruption manager. Previously he spent three years working for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary as a major crime expert.

This followed a thirty-year career with the Metropolitan Police Service, where he rose to the rank of detective superintendent for its homicide and serious crimes unit.

"Through my work within sports integrity over the past six years, I have developed some understanding of the work of the BHA integrity unit," Watts said.

"I was brought up with horses; I am passionate about sport; and I am very much looking forward to transferring my skills and experience into this new role."

BHA director of integrity and regulatory operations Brant Dunshea said the Authority was delighted to bring in someone of Watts' experience in intelligence management, investigations and sports integrity.

"This appointment was a key focus for the BHA following our integrity review, and we're excited for Chris to begin his new role which will ensure greater accountability for the performance of our Integrity teams," Dunshea said.