Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, QPM is a leading UK police officer who served as Chief Constable of Merseyside Police before becoming the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.
Born on 25 October 1957 in Sheffield, as Bernard Hogan, he joins South Yorkshire Police in 1979 where he serves in the Doncaster area with involvement in both the Miners' Strike and the Hillsborough Disaster. Following a law degree at Oxford University, he is appointed Commander for the Doncaster West area before moving to Merseyside Police as an Assistant Chief Constable (1997-2001). He would be Assistant Commissioner for Human Resources at the Metropolitan Police Service 2001-2004 before returning to Merseyside as Chief Constable where he is noted for having developed the concept of 'Total Policing'. From 2009 to 2011 he is one of the Inspectors of Constabulary, before rejoining the Metropolitan Police as Assistant Commissioner for Professional Standards and shortly after being appointed to replace Paul Stephenson as Commissioner in September 2011.
Hogan-Howe is known as an outspoken officer. During his time at the Metropolitan police he has had to deal with various high profile events and policing scandals such as Plebgate, the spying on the Lawrence family, the targeting of journalists to obtain their sources and reviews into misbehaviour by undercover police.
Late September 2016, Hogan-Howe announced he would retire in February 2017, seven months before his contract would run out.
- 1 Career and controversies
- 2 South Yorkshire Police - 1989: Hillsborough
- 3 Merseyside police - 1998: paedophile MP cover-up
- 4 Chief Constable of Merseyside Police - 2004: Total policing
- 5 An Inspector of Constabulary
- 6 Metropolitan Police Service - 2011 to the present: Commissioner
- 7 Protests
- 8 The Undercover policing scandal
- 9 Personal Details
- 10 Retirement
- 11 Education & awards
- 12 Affiliations
- 13 Talks & Publications
- 14 Timeline
- 15 Key relationships with other officers
- 16 Notes
Career and controversies
South Yorkshire Police - 1989: Hillsborough
Bernard Hogan-Howe played a role in the aftermath of the notorious football disaster in which took place on 15 April 1989 at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The first official inquiry into it was chaired by Lord Justice Peter Taylor and reported in 1990. The event has been the subject of a long campaign by the families of the 96 fans who died, who claimed that the police had initially smeared the fans to hide their mismanagement of the event. There have been long-standing concerns that officers accounts of the day which conflicted with the official police story were deliberately suppressed or altered before being passed the Taylor Inquiry in order to protect the reputation of South Yorkshire police and the senior officers involved in policing the event. This resulted in a new inquest to be established in 2014 as well as a large scale investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Authority, including into the handling of the aftermath by South Yorkshire Police and the later investigation by West Midlands Police.
Hogan-Howe was not on duty at the time, but answered a call for officers to join the operation and took charge of the police team at the Boys' Club.
At the time he was an inspector and placed in charge of relatives who had gathered to wait for news at the Sheffield Boys Club. As such, he answered to chief inspector Norman Bettison, who had organised the waiting area in the Boys Club and compiled the missing persons list.
- The inspector was not working as part of the team. There was no organisation – it was utter chaos, a shambles. The police were defensive; we could not get information; there was no sense of partnership or that they were there to help us do what was needed...
Families were not given the information they needed, and Hogan-Howe and his officers had kept themselves apart. At one point, Adam Spearitt, a 14 year old victim, was listed as 'safe and well', given his family false hope.
Hogan-Howe's comment in 2014 on his role at the time was:
- Afterwards I tried to help at the boys club. Great confusion on day. I don't believe I've done anything wrong.
He also issued a statement in early 2014 saying that:
- We have been asked in recent days whether undercover officers were deployed into the Hillsborough campaign. We replied that we will neither confirm nor deny details of the deployment of undercover officers.
Following the highly critical report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel in September 2012, Hogan-Howe stated that had 'provided statements to the Taylor report about his role following the tragedy', and had declined to change his account when asked. When the supposed accounts failed to turn up, Hogan-Howe changed his line to say he might have been confused. It also emerged that he had apparently declined to make a comprehensive statement to the 1990 Taylor inquiry, the only account he had given was in two phone calls, one of which had taken place after the inquiry had concluded; this had been with Inspector Matthew Sawer of West Midlands Police who had been appointed to investigate the disaster and who had asked if there was anything that Hogan-Howe wanted to add to his account. In December 2013, Paul Spearitt, the elder brother of Adam, lodged a complaint with the IPCC regarding Hogan-Howe and his misleading statements. The Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, said:
- It is incredible that the top police officer in the country has not told the truth about the account he gave when 96 people lost their lives, and it is difficult to believe he was confused. It is also astonishing he has never made a detailed statement about what he did as the senior officer in charge of bereaved people at the Boys Club. I am calling on the IPCC to fully investigate.
The Spearitt family complaint has been merged in with the larger IPCC investigation into the policing of the disaster created following the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report.
Merseyside police - 1998: paedophile MP cover-up
Hogan-Howe was an Assistant Chief Constable at Merseyside in 1998 when the force uncovered claims one of Tony Blair’s ministers was a suspected paedophile. In March 2015 it was revealed that the investigation was dropped back in the days to avoid an embarrassing political scandal.
The discoveries about sexual abuse of children by senior politicians were made by Operation Care, an investigation resulting in the arrest of care home boss Michael Carroll. He had abused children in the North West before taking charge of Angell Road children’s home in Brixton, South London. The Liverpool-based team took the case to London to investigate the involvement of the Blair minister and other suspects. However, the Metropolitan Police detective who had been working alongside Operation Care, Clive Driscoll was issued with disciplinary proceedings after naming the serving Blair minister as a suspect in November 1998. The investigation was shut down and Mr Driscoll was removed just afterwards, and disciplinary moves were later dropped.
A Merseyside officer involved in Operation Care, Colin Leeman, who would become a staff officer for Hogan-Howe when the latter joined Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. A source close to the Operation, interviewed by MP Tom Watson, said:
- The senior investigating officer at the time would have been expected to have reported to his senior officers the fact a serving government minister had come under suspicion.
- It’s inconceivable to think that senior Merseyside officers would not have known.
Scotland Yard however claimed Hogan-Howe's innocence: 'The Commissioner did not have day-to-day involvement and does not recollect details about the investigation, those suspected or any associated allegations made regarding politicians.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission announced in March 2015, that they will “manage” the investigation that was already being conducted by the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards. Concerns were raised about the police investigating itself. Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:
- Given the gravity of the crimes being investigated, it is worrying this is not a fully independent investigation.
- Instead the Met will lead this work with oversight from the IPCC. Surely this should be done by an independent investigator or, at the very least an alternate force.
Theresa May said officers may face charges over the VIP child abuse. The Home Secretary told the Home Affairs Committee: 'There needs to be no suggestion of any further cover-up in the work of an investigation of what seems to have been a cover-up.
Chief Constable of Merseyside Police - 2004: Total policing
Appointed Chief Constable of Merseyside Police in 2004 he is noted for his tackling of the city's gangs and anti-social behaviour, and for introducing the concept of 'total policing' via his 'Total Policing Strategy'. During this time Merseyside police rose in public confidence from 42nd out of 43 forces to the top. With his deputy chief constable Jon Murphy, he established Operation Matrix which focused on gun crime and inner-city gangs.
He started gaining public attention when he becomes noted for his tough rhetoric, particularly in 2007 when he made a number of statements that gained national attention.
At the start of 2007 Hogan-Howe called for families that shield gun criminals to be evicted, and to force witnesses to give evidence. While in April he called for review of decision to downgrade cannabis from a class B to class C drug. Then, following the May 2007 conviction of the Metropolitan Police breaching health and safety laws over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezies in 2005, Hogan-Howe spoke out against the judgement, saying that such laws were restricting police officers from showing bravery, while passers-by were able to intervene.
On 22 August 2007, 11-year-old Rhys Jones was an innocent bystander in a gangland shooting. Hogan-Howe played a public role in leading the two year inquiry that saw the conviction of by Sean Mercer and Anthony Walker. Among the team involved was Patricia Gallan. Subsequently, in 2008, while his force was arresting suspects, he accused some judges of being lenient on gun crime for overlooking the five year mandatory sentence for possession of a firearm.
An Inspector of Constabulary
In October 2009, Hogan-Howe was appointed an Inspector of Constabulary, serving under the Chief Inspector Denis O'Connor. He was given responsibility for the London and National Offices, which included overseeing thematic areas of policing such as the police response to the 2012 Olympics, counter-terrorism and serious organised crime. He was also HM Inspector of Constabulary for London in 2011 (see below). Other inspections included the MPS, British Transport Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and Police Service of Northern Ireland. In January 2011 he led the review of national domestic extremism units (see below).
Metropolitan Police Service - 2011 to the present: Commissioner
On 18 July 2011 Hogan Howe was appointed Acting Deputy Commissioner following resignation of Commissioner Paul Stephenson which had caused the existing Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin to step into the role of Acting Commissioner.On 12 September 2011 he was appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, the appointment becoming effective on 26 September. The appointment as Commissioner was made by Home Secretary Theresa May and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Hogan-Howe's declarations while Chief Constable of Merseyside on liberal judges and soft sentencing, health and safety and his tough stance on crime through his 'total policing' project made him a popular choice within the Conservative party. His appointment over-rode two selection panels which had said that Hugh Orde would be a better choice.
On being appointed as Commissioner, he listed the 2012 Olympics and counter-terrorism as the two main priorities of the MPS.
However, having taken over in the aftermath of the 2011 London Riots his immediate concern was dealing with the fallout from them. This included his public backing of tough sentencing in the face of criticism that they were disproportionate, and the statement that police officers are not social workers:
- If we get information a crime is taking place, we don’t spend six months on surveillance, we get a warrant and knock the door in... We are not the social services.
During his time as Commissioner the Met had to deal with a number of other major events as well, including the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II and the murder of Lee Rigby. It was also caught up in a number of major scandals which saw trenchant criticism of the behaviour of Metropolitan police officer, including 'Plebgate', the smearing of Carol Howard and the response to the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Hogan-Howe also faced £500m budget cuts and was criticised over his heavy management style. In January 2014, he was forced to admit that a whistleblower's claims the MPS were manipulating crime figures was partially true.
On 19 September 2012, a serious row broke out when it was claimed that the Conservative Party's Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell had allegedly sworn at police as he was made to leave Downing Street by a side gate with his bike, particularly that he had used the word 'pleb' to refer to the officers. The political furore cost Mitchell his job, but it subsequently turned out that the account of the police was riddled with holes. Eventually, Mitchell was cleared of using the word pleb (though he did admit swearing) and four police officers lost their jobs, with one going to jail. The Metropolitan Police enquiry was lead by ACC Pat Gallan, now in Hogan-Howe's old role as head of the Directorate of Professional Sandards, and called Operation Alice.
Hogan-Howe initially sided with the officers involved, which included not ordering an investigation when the affair originally broke, and breaking off his holiday to check up on the welfare of the officers caught up in the affair. He was criticised for his unwillingness to question the truthfulness of his own officers' accounts, leading to calls for his resignation.
Eventually, in January 2014, Hogan-Howe issued an apology to Andrew Mitchell, admitting his officers had lied.
Relationships with the Press
During Hogan-Howe's tenure as the Metropolitan Police's head of Human Resources (2001-2004), he led Operation Rose, which was set up by the then Commissioner John Stevens to handle the briefing of the press around the case being brought against the MPS by the Health and Safety Executive over the death and injury of officers.
However, in subsequent years, his relationship with the media was overshadowed by the Leveson Inquiry into standards in the media that had emerged in the wake of the ‘’News of the World’’ phone hacking scandal; something which had, his predecessor Paul Stephenson as Commissioner to resign. Initially he appointed Jon Stoddart, Chief Constable of Durham to review the MPS's response to phone hacking (Operation Weeting).
One outcome for the MPS was that Hogan-Howe brought in new, stricter standards to govern contact between the police and the press. Included was a ban on officers going for meals or drinks with journalists. They were introduced in May 2012, though he is said to have breached them himself during the Plebgate affair, when meetings with journalists were unminuted and it was suggested he was personally responsible for leaks.
The application of Hogan-Howe's press guidelines were also called into question when the MPS was found guilty of racial and sexual harassment against a black firearms officer PC Carol Howard and awarded £40,000 in September 2014. The employment tribunal was highly critical of the Metropolitan Police for releasing information to the press beyond its media policy and which amounted to a smear campaign. The tribunal was also critical of Bernard Hogan-Howe himself, saying his apology was both belated and insincere and expressing damning opinions of a TV interview in which he failed to 'express any regret' and tried to brush the affair away by saying it was merely one incident involving one officer, and that people needed 'a sense of balance'.
Attacks on journalistic privilege
A theme that re-emerges a number of times during Hogan-Howe's career in the Metropolitan police is his attacks on journalistic privileges. Much of the concern relates to police use of the Regulation of Internet Powers Act and other laws to bypass legislation which protects journalists' right to keep their sources confidential under European laws.
As Assistant Commissioner for Professional Standards, his department sought to use the Official Secrets Act to compel ‘’the Guardian’’ to reveal its sources over the ‘’News of the World’’ phone hacking scandal, though the order was rescinded prior to Hogan-Howe formally taking up the position of Commissioner.
The issue was raised again when it was revealed on the publication of the Closing Report of Operation Alice report into Plebgate that the Metropolitan Police had applied for and accessed the phone records of Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of The Sun, in order to identify sources by using the Regulation of Internet Powers Act 2000 and without seeking a warrant. This lead to concern the MPS was bypassing legal privilege.
In March 2014, Hogan-Howe took the Met to the Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn existing law whereby production orders to journalists to turn over their material to the police had to be held in open court where they could be challenged by the media organisation. In particular, it was seeking to force broadcaster BSkyB to hand over details of correspondence between a whistleblower in the SAS and a journalist. In a series of court hearings the MPS unsuccessfully argued that such production orders should done using secret evidence in closed hearings. The whistleblower involved also made a complaint for unlawful interception of of communications by the Metropolitan police.
When the issue of Kent Police and other forces using the Regulation of Internet Powers Act to bypass human rights law to spy on journalists came to the fore again in October 2014, Hogan-Howe, refused to respond to nearly 50 questions on the issue put to him during a question and answer session on twitter.
In August 2014, Hogan-Howe was to issue another apology for his officers, this time admitting a Metropolitan Police officer had used excessive force when UK Uncut protestors were sprayed teargas into their faces in January 2011.
The Undercover policing scandal
Overseeing reviews into undercover policing
Following disclosures of undercover officer Mark Kennedy, HMIC appointed Bernard Hogan-Howe in February 2011 to look at the accountability and legality of Kennedy's unit, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit. He completed the first draft of the report in summer 2011, which is understood to have ruled out stronger independent oversight of the deployment of undercover police officers. However, by July 2011, Hogan-Howe left HMIC to become head of the Metropolitan Police Service Professional Standards Unit, so it is not clear how much role he had in subsequent changes to the report.
Before it was published, the report was subject to fundamental revision by Hogan-Howe's boss, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary Denis O'Connor, as according to a source quoted by the Times, 'Hogan-Howe was much less keen to rock the boat than Denis O'Connor was on the issue - he didn't want to shake things up'. It was further revised by HMIC after it was revealed that undercover officers had been authorised to give false details in court. The final version of the report was released in February 2012, but strongly criticised as a whitewash.
As allegations of misbehaviour by undercover officers continued to mount, Hogan-Howe, then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police asked ACC Pat Gallan to lead an inquiry, known as Operation Soisson. The revelations about the undercovers using death certificates of deceased children (see below) the head of the investigation was replaced again and the name was changed too. It is now called Operation Herne under the Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, though most of the investigating officers continued to be serving Metropolitan Police officers.
Undercover policing scandals
In February 2013 the Home Affairs Select Committee said the Metropolitan Police should issue an apology to the families whose dead children had their identities appropriated by undercover officers. Such an apology, along with an explanation, was needed due to the 'ghoulish' nature of the practice and for having put those families in potential danger as well.
In July 2013, Hogan-Howe made an apology in general terms for the use of the identities of dead children by officers in the Special Demonstration Squad, saying he 'I absolutely agree ... that the Metropolitan Police should apologise for the shock and offence the use of this tactic has caused. My officers have this morning passed on that apology directly to one family, which has been told its child's identity may have been used...'.
However, he refused to tell other families that the identities of their children were used on the grounds it was more important to protect the identities of the undercover officers who were sent to infiltrate political groups. When t subsequently emerged that those political groups included 18 family campaigns for justice where people had died at the hands of the police, Home Affairs announced an independent inquiry.
Hogan-Howe came under further criticism over obstruction tactics and misinformation in relation to the court case brought by women who had discovered they were in relationships men they later learned where undercover officers targeting them. In November 2013 he told Baroness Jenny Jones that the Metropolitan Police 'always had a policy that it is unacceptable for officers to have sex with the people they are targeting', while the previous week lawyers acting on behalf of his force said in court it was sometimes acceptable.
MPS lawyers also maintained the Metropolitan Police's position that they could not confirm or deny whether named individuals had been police officers, other than where those individuals had outed themselves already. This was the subject of trenchant criticism by Justice Bean hearing the case, who noted that Hogan-Howe had already personally confirmed the name of one of the officers (Jim Boyling) Met lawyers were now prevaricating on.
- We will make the case that our undercover officers are incredibly brave. They deal with some very dangerous people adn we think this is a vital part of our toolset... this is an important tactic but equally it has to be done within the law.
Racism and corruption: Spying on the Lawrence family
Another investigation that tainted the reputation of Hogan-Howe was the Stephen Lawrence Independent Review by Mark Ellison, QC into corruption and spying in the case of the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence. The Review, published in March 2014, found that the family of Stephen Lawrence had been spied up by undercover police (for which the Head of Counter Terrorism Command, Richard Walton was temporarily removed from his job).
The Review also found that large number of files from Operation Othona, the anti-corruption drive in the MPS in late 1990s had been destroyed. Among these investigations had been inquiries into DS John Davidson who'd been implicated in corruption in the murder investigations of private investigator Daniel Morgan, who had threatened to expose police corruption and black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
It soon became clear that the shredding of the files occurred not in 2003 as originally believed, but in 2001 when Hogan Howe was the assistant commissioner for human resources with the Met. This lead to renewed debate over the institutional racism within the Metropolitan police, and to accusations of institutional corruption, with Hogan-Howe promising to reform his police force and the launch of more internal inquiries.
Hogan-Howe claimed shock when Peter Francis made his allegations regarding the targeting of the Lawrences in June 2013. It subsequently emerged that he had been personally briefed a year before about this by both DAC Pat Gallan and the senior investigating officer for the inquiry, but did not tell the murdered teenager's parents for another 11 months.
- See also: Smearing of the Lawrence family
Raised by his single mother, whose surname Hogan he added to Howe by deed poll at the age of 18. His father was a steelworker, Bernard Howe (a manager in a steelworks; served in RAF in Whiteley Bay, Northumberland; died May 2001; childless marriage with to Edith Beevor), who played no role in his upbringing. His mother was Cecilia "Celia" Hogan, (b. ca. 1920; d. Feb 2002), an office worker who live in Hope Square, in the Brightside district of Sheffield.. His mother's elder sister Kathleen and her husband, steelworker Lionel Key also helped raise him. Later the family moved to Attercliffe and then to Pitsmoor suburb. Celia Hogan was the daughter of a Sheffield steelworker.
In 2008 married to Marion White, MVO, a Crown Equerry responsible for the Royal family's horses, carriages and cars at Buckingham Palace. There are no children of this relationship. After finishing his A-levels, he spent four years working as a lab assistant for the National Health Service. Restless with that job, he claimed to have joined the police 'I liked the idea of stopping bullies'.
His pay as Commissioner is £126,000 per year.
In September 2017, Hogan-Howe announced he would retire in February 2017, seven months before his contract would run out. The Standard quoted the fractious start to his relationship with the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn who had expressed doubts over Sir Bernard's decision-making and suggested he wanted to pick his own Commissioner:
- In September, Mr Khan publicly rebuked the Commissioner three times during the course of one meeting as tensions between the pair were exposed. In the most recent clash between the pair, Mr Khan said he was disappointed not to have been consulted on plans - which were later scrapped - for the Met to start using "spit hoods" to restrain suspects. He also distanced himself from the Met's show of strength after stabbings in Hyde Park when heavily armed counter-terror officers were put on display.
The Guardian, however, quoted sources in the Met and the mayor of London’s office that insisted Hogan-Howe was not forced out but had chosen when to leave. Instead the paper noted that '[h]is departure comes weeks ahead of a report into the Met’s handling of historic sex abuse cases, which is expected to be critical. The Met is also facing £400m of budget cuts by 2020, on top of large cuts it has already suffered.'
Among those who may apply for the commissioner’s job, still according to the Guardian, are Sara Thornton, current head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council and former head of the Thames Valley force, bordering London. She was once described as David Cameron’s favourite police chief. Also in the running is Mark Rowley, an assistant commissioner of the Met who oversees counter-terrorism. He succeeded Martin Hewitt, who took an unexpected retirement in January 2016 in the face of possible legal steps because of his involvement in the undercover policing scandal .
Education & awards
- Hinde House Comprehensive School.
- Sheffield Polytechnic
- MA in Law, Merton College, Oxford, on a police scholarship.; graduates 1991 with 2.1 in jurisprudence.
- Diploma in Applied Criminology, FitzWilliam College, University of Cambridge.
- MBA in Business Administration, University of Sheffield.
- Queen's Police Medal (QPM); awarded 14 June 2003.
- Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM is a role model for single-minded crime fighting. He oversaw a 30% fall in crime over three years as chief constable of Merseyside; anti-social behaviour fell by 20% in a single year. Now Metropolitan police commissioner, he has brought new energy to action on gangs, guns and knife crime, using zero-tolerance tactics and sustaining frontline visibility. He oversaw the policing of London during the diamond jubilee, and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
- Board Member, The Merseyside Partnership, (currently known as the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership) 27 June 2006 to 13 August 2009.
- Board Member, Liverpool Culture Company 21 July 2005 to 6 September 2006.
- Chairman, James Bulger House Appeal, 2008.
- Hon. Fellow, Liverpool John Moores University.
Policing and security
- Board Member, Central Police Training and Development Authority (Centrex) at some point between 2002 and 2005 In 2007/8 Centrex is merged into the National Policing Improvement Authority (NPIA) of which Hogan-Howe is a board member in 1 May 2012-31 December 2012.
- Member, APCO Cabinet while Chief Constable of Merseyside 2009 where he was the lead officer ('senior responsible owner') for a review of police air operations until he left Merseyside police to join HMIC.
- Opened the 11th annual ASIS European Security Conference and Exhibition (IFSecGlobal) in April 2012.
- Patron of the Police Roll of Honour Trust in 2013, joining Stephen House and Hugh Orde as joint patrons.
Talks & Publications
- A National Programme on Shared Services – Outline Business Case, unpublished report for the Association of Chief Police Officers, 2007.
- Total Policing: The Future of Policing in London, 16 January 2012, London School of Economics.
- The Challenges of Policing Modern Britain, LJMU Roscoe Lecture Series, 2010.
- 1979 – November: joins South Yorkshire Police. where he serves as a uniformed and traffic officer, and in CID and personnel divisions.
- 1981 - January Hogan-Howe was one of the officers on duty when serial killer Peter Sutcliffe known as The 'Yorkshire Ripper' was arrested in Broomhill. Taken in for driving with false license plates, he confessed to the killings during interrogations.
- 1984/85 Hogan-Hogan was an inspector with responsibilities in the communities of South Yorkshire during the Miners’ Strike. In this time he was part of an arrest in a Edlington pub, which sparked a local confrontation, and which he said was a time when he genuinely feared for his safety.
- 1987 - October: Inspector.
- 1989 - April: still an inspector, he heads up the police team overseeing Hillsborough victim families at the Sheffield Boys Club.
- 1988-1991: Oxford University to study law. as part of South Yorkshire Police's accelerated promotion scheme; graduates with 2.1 in jurisprudence.
- 1997 - August: Assistant Chief Constable for Community Affairs, Merseyside Police. In 1998, his Chief Constable becomes Norman Bettison.
- 1999: Assistant Chief Constable for Area Operations, Merseyside Police. Lead officer for Maritime and Air Support policing and Gold Commander for the Grand National, the Millennium celebrations and the Open Golf Tournament.
- 2000-2001: Gold Commander for the national Petrol Disputes.
- 2001 - July: Assistant Commissioner for Human Resources, Metropolitan Police, under Commissioner John Stevens. In this time he oversaw a 20% growth in the MPS size as it reached 30,000 officers.
- 2004: Chief Constable, Merseyside Police
- 2011 - July: Assistant Commissioner, Professional Standards, Metropolitan Police Service.
- 2011 - 18 July: Acting Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service.
- 2011 - 26 September: Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
- 2013: Knighted for services to policing.
- 2016: Announced to retire in February 2017.
Key relationships with other officers
Bettison is a figure of interest in various other inter-related issues and in the aftermath of Hillsborough intersects with Hogan-Howe on a number of key issues.
Following the Hillsborough disaster he had a leading role in of what was described as a "black propaganda" unit within South Yorkshire police tasked with liaising with MPs and others about Hillsborough related issues, which encouraged the myth of the Liverpool fans being drunk.
In 1998, having become Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, he is alleged to have sought to interfere with a witness presenting at the Bradford hearing of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry under Sir William Macpherson.
Though Hogan-Howe had moved to Merseyside Police as an Assistant Chief Constable in 1997, in 1998, Bettison was appointed Chief Constable there, serving until 2004, when he is succeeded by Hogan-Howe. Bettison moves on to head up Centrex (the Central Police Training and Development Authority from 2004 to 2007. It is known that some time prior to 2005 Hogan-Howe had also been a director of Centrex.
In 2007 Bettison would return to West Yorkshire Police as Chief Constable, during which time he sat on the ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee which oversaw the undercover work of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit - including Mark Kennedy.
In the wake of the Independent Hillsborough Panel's report, the IPCC found in 2012 that Norman Bettison also had a case to answer for gross misconduct over how he attempted to influence the referral of a related complaint against him to the IPCC. However, he resigned as Chief Constable of West Yorkshire before this could proceed.
It should be noted that Jon Murphy, who himself became Chief Constable of Merseyside in 2010, developed his career in that police force under both Hogan-Howe and Bettison, and would also serve as ACPO's spokesperson on undercover policing in 2011, at a time when Hogan-Howe was leading the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary inquiry into the domestic extremism unit running undercover officers.
Murphy was Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside Police from 2004, when he would have also served alongside ACC Pat Gallan, Merseyside's Assistant Chief Constable for Operations Support who joined Hogan-Howe in the Metropolitan Police and was asked by the Commissioner to head up the Metropolitan Police's investigation in to the undercover police scandal (Operation Herne).
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