Bernard Hogan-Howe

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search
URG logo 1.png

This article is part of the Undercover Research Portal - a project of the Undercover Research Group in conjunction with SpinWatch.

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.

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.[1] 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.[2] This resulted in a new inquest to be established in 2014[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

The management of the Boys Club by Hogan-Howe was severely criticised by Rev. Stephen Lowe, the then Archdeacon of Sheffield, who said of it:[8]

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.[9] At one point, Adam Spearitt, a 14 year old victim, was listed as 'safe and well', given his family false hope.[9]

Hogan-Howe's comment in 2014 on his role at the time was:[10]

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:[11]

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.[7] When the supposed accounts failed to turn up, Hogan-Howe changed his line to say he might have been confused.[12] 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.[7] In December 2013, Paul Spearitt, the elder brother of Adam, lodged a complaint with the IPCC regarding Hogan-Howe and his misleading statements.[13] The Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, said:[7]

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.[14]

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.[15][16]

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:[15]

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.[15] Concerns were raised about the police investigating itself. Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:[17]

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.[15]

Chief Constable of Merseyside Police - 2004: Total policing

Appointed Chief Constable of Merseyside Police in 2004[18] he is noted for his tackling of the city's gangs and anti-social behaviour[19], and for introducing the concept of 'total policing'[20][21] via his 'Total Policing Strategy'.[22] During this time Merseyside police rose in public confidence from 42nd out of 43 forces to the top.[23] With his deputy chief constable Jon Murphy, he established Operation Matrix which focused on gun crime and inner-city gangs.[24]

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.[25] While in April he called for review of decision to downgrade cannabis from a class B to class C drug.[26] 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.[27]

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.[20][23] Among the team involved was Patricia Gallan.[28] 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.[29][30]

An Inspector of Constabulary

In October 2009, Hogan-Howe was appointed an Inspector of Constabulary[31], serving under the Chief Inspector Denis O'Connor. He was given responsibility for the London and National Offices,[32] which included overseeing thematic areas of policing such as the police response to the 2012 Olympics, counter-terrorism and serious organised crime.[33] He was also HM Inspector of Constabulary for London in 2011 (see below).[34] 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).[18]

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[20] which had caused the existing Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin to step into the role of Acting Commissioner.[31]On 12 September 2011[20] he was appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, the appointment becoming effective on 26 September.[35] The appointment as Commissioner was made by Home Secretary Theresa May and London Mayor Boris Johnson.[36]

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[19] made him a popular choice within the Conservative party.[37] His appointment over-rode two selection panels which had said that Hugh Orde would be a better choice.[38]

On being appointed as Commissioner, he listed the 2012 Olympics and counter-terrorism as the two main priorities of the MPS.[39]

However, having taken over in the aftermath of the 2011 London Riots his immediate concern was dealing with the fallout from them.[20] 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:[39]

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.[40]

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[41] and was criticised over his heavy management style.[42][43] In January 2014, he was forced to admit that a whistleblower's claims the MPS were manipulating crime figures was partially true.[44]


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.[45]

Hogan-Howe initially sided with the officers involved, which included not ordering an investigation when the affair originally broke,[38] and breaking off his holiday to check up on the welfare of the officers caught up in the affair.[46] He was criticised for his unwillingness to question the truthfulness of his own officers' accounts, leading to calls for his resignation.[47]

Eventually, in January 2014, Hogan-Howe issued an apology to Andrew Mitchell, admitting his officers had lied.[48]

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.[49]

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[24] to review the MPS's response to phone hacking (Operation Weeting).[39]

One outcome for the MPS was that Hogan-Howe brought in new, stricter standards to govern contact between the police and the press.[50] Included was a ban on officers going for meals or drinks with journalists.[24][32] 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.[47]

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'.[51]

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.[52]

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.[53]

The issue was raised again when it was revealed on the publication of the Closing Report of Operation Alice report into Plebgate[54] 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.[55][56]

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.[57]

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.[58]


Hogan-Howe has advocated more tasers for his officers,[59] and the acquisition of water cannon for use against protestors.[60]

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.[61][62]

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.[63][64][65] 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'.[66][67] It was further revised by HMIC[68] after it was revealed that undercover officers had been authorised to give false details in court.[69] The final version of the report was released in February 2012, but strongly criticised as a whitewash.[70][71]

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.[72]

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.[73]

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...'.[74]

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.[75] 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.[76]

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.[77] 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.[78]

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[79], who noted that Hogan-Howe had already personally confirmed the name of one of the officers (Jim Boyling) Met lawyers were now prevaricating on.[80]

Following the formal opening of the Pitchford Inquiry into the undercover policing scandals on 28 July 2015, Hogan-Howe told BBC London radio:[81]

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.[82] 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.[83][84]

Hogan-Howe claimed shock when Peter Francis made his allegations regarding the targeting of the Lawrences in June 2013.[85] 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.[86]

Personal Details

Raised by his single mother[19], whose surname Hogan he added to Howe by deed poll at the age of 18.[87] 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)[33], who played no role in his upbringing.[87] 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.[33]. His mother's elder sister Kathleen and her husband, steelworker Lionel Key also helped raise him.[33] Later the family moved to Attercliffe and then to Pitsmoor suburb. Celia Hogan was the daughter of a Sheffield steelworker.[87]

In 2008[42] married to Marion White, MVO, a Crown Equerry responsible for the Royal family's horses, carriages and cars at Buckingham Palace.[87] There are no children of this relationship.[39] After finishing his A-levels, he spent four years working as a lab assistant[39] for the National Health Service.[33] Restless with that job, he claimed to have joined the police 'I liked the idea of stopping bullies'.[40]

He lists horse riding, opera, Sheffield Wednesday FC and playing football as his recreations,[88] and describes himself as 'Christian agnostic'.[39]

His pay as Commissioner is £126,000 per year.[20]


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:[89]

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.'[90]

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.[90] 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.[33]
  • Sheffield Polytechnic[88]
  • MA in Law, Merton College, Oxford, on a police scholarship.[20]; graduates 1991 with 2.1 in jurisprudence.[87]
  • Diploma in Applied Criminology, FitzWilliam College, University of Cambridge.[18][88]
  • MBA in Business Administration, University of Sheffield.[91]
  • Queen's Police Medal (QPM); awarded 14 June 2003.[92]
  • Knighted on 21 May 2013[93] for services to policing. His official citation read:[46]
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[21], (currently known as the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership) 27 June 2006 to 13 August 2009.[94]
  • Board Member, Liverpool Culture Company[21] 21 July 2005 to 6 September 2006.[95]
  • Chairman, James Bulger House Appeal, 2008.[96]
  • Hon. Fellow, Liverpool John Moores University.[88][21]

Policing and security

  • Board Member, Central Police Training and Development Authority (Centrex)[21] at some point between 2002 and 2005[97] 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.[98]
  • Member, APCO Cabinet while Chief Constable of Merseyside 2009[21] where he was the lead officer ('senior responsible owner') for a review of police air operations[99] until he left Merseyside police to join HMIC.[100]
  • Opened the 11th annual ASIS European Security Conference and Exhibition (IFSecGlobal) in April 2012.[102]

Talks & Publications

  • A National Programme on Shared Services – Outline Business Case, unpublished report for the Association of Chief Police Officers, 2007.[104]
  • 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.[21]


  • 25 October 1957: born in Sheffield.[88][19]
  • 1979 – November: joins South Yorkshire Police.[39][87] where he serves as a uniformed and traffic officer,[105] and in CID and personnel divisions.[18]
  • 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.[40][106]
  • 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.[40][107][33]
  • 1987 - October: Inspector.[87]
  • 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.[19] as part of South Yorkshire Police's accelerated promotion scheme; graduates with 2.1 in jurisprudence.[87]
  • 1994: Superintendent[88], District Commander for Doncaster West Area.[108]
  • 1997 - August:[87] Assistant Chief Constable for Community Affairs, Merseyside Police.[21] In 1998, his Chief Constable becomes Norman Bettison.
  • 1999: Assistant Chief Constable for Area Operations, Merseyside Police.[21] Lead officer for Maritime and Air Support policing and Gold Commander for the Grand National, the Millennium celebrations and the Open Golf Tournament.[21]
  • 2000-2001: Gold Commander for the national Petrol Disputes.[18]
  • 2001 - July: Assistant Commissioner for Human Resources[21], Metropolitan Police, under Commissioner John Stevens.[20] In this time he oversaw a 20% growth in the MPS size as it reached 30,000 officers.[18]
  • 2004: Chief Constable, Merseyside Police[18]
  • 2009 – 4 October: an Inspector of Constabulary[31][109]
  • 2011 - July: Assistant Commissioner, Professional Standards, Metropolitan Police Service.
  • 2011 - 18 July: Acting Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service.[20]
  • 2011 - 26 September: Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.[110]
  • 2013: Knighted for services to policing.
  • 2016: Announced to retire in February 2017.

Key relationships with other officers

Norman Bettison

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.[111]

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.[112]

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[97] Hogan-Howe had also been a director of Centrex.[21]

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.[113]

Jon Murphy

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.[114]

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).


  1. Hillsborough Disaster, Wikipedia, accessed 26 August 2014.
  2. Hillborough Independent Panel, website, accessed 26 August 2014
  3. Hillsborough Inquest, website, accessed 26 August 2014
  4. IPCC Hillsborough investigation and blog, accessed 26 August 2014.
  5. Cahal Milmo, [1], The Independent, 18 November 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  6. Justin Davenport, Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe defends Hillsborough role in web Q&A, London Evening Standard, 15 January 2014, accessed 1 June 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 David Conn, Met chief: 'I will welcome inquiry into statements on Hillsborough', The Guardian, 9 November 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  8. David Conn, Hogan-Howe's work with Hillsborough families was 'a shambles', The Guardian, 16 November 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  9. 9.0 9.1 David Conn, Hillsborough: Bernard Hogan-Howe faces IPCC investigation over actions, The Guardian, 18 November 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  10. Rob Pattinson, Hogan-Howe insists he did nothing wrong at Hillsborough as Met Police refuse to confirm or deny undercover tactics, Liverpool Echo, 15 January 2014, accessed 26 August 2014.
  11. Eleanor Barlow, Hillsborough campaigners will not be 'fobbed off' by Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Liverpool Echo, 15 January 2014, accessed 26 August 2014. Contains full text of the statement released by the Metropolitan Police in advance of an online Question and Answer session.
  12. Jonathan Corke, Cleric shocked by top copper's Hillsborough silence, Daily Star', 17 November 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  13. David Conn, Met police's Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe referred to IPCC over Hillsborough role, The Guardian, 18 November 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  14. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, IPCC Hillsborough investigation update, 16 December 2013, page 4, accessed 26 August 2014.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Tom Pettifor, Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe facing probe over child abuse 'cover-up', 17 March 2015, Daily Mirror (accessed 19 March 2015
  16. Ben Quinn, Scotland Yard detective 'removed over plan to investigate child abuse claims', the Guardian, 16 July 2014 (accessed 19 March 2015)
  17. Police watchdog to investigate claims Met covered up child abuse], The Guardian, 16 March 2015 (accessed 19 March 2015)
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Metropolitan Police Service, accessed 23 July 2014.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Philip Johnston, Bernard Hogan-Howe: a tough cop for a tough job at the Metropolitan Police, The Telegraph, 13 September 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 Mark Hughes, Tom Whitehead, Scourge of police health and safety appointed Scotland Yard head, The Telegraph, 12 September 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 21.11 Bernard Hogan-Howe, oration given by Prof. Frank Sanderson, Liverpool John Moores University, 13 July 2010, accessed 1 June 2014.
  22. This would later be defined as “A total war on crime, total care for victims, and total professionalism from our staff”; see Total Policing, Metropolitan Police Service, undated, accessed 10 October 2014.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Sandra Laville, Met commissioner candidate profile: Bernard Hogan-Howe, The Guardian, 12 September 2011, accessed 23 July 2014.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Sandra Laville, Helen Carter, New Met commissioner outlines plan to concentrate on 'total policing', The Guardian, 15 September 2011, accessed 23 July 2014.
  25. 'Evict gun thugs' families' call], BBC News Online, 26 February 2007, accessed 1 June 2014.
  26. Jonathan Owen, Cannabis is wrecking lives, says public school head, The Independent, 8 April 2007.
  27. Safety laws 'may prevent bravery', BBC News Online, 5 December 2007, accessed 26 August 2014.
  28. Simon Boyle, Rhys Jones investigation team honoured,, 28 September 2008, accessed 26 August 2014.
  29. Who might be next Met Police commissioner?, BBC News Online, 17 August 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  30. Paul Broster, Judges accused of going soft on guns, The Express, 26 March 2008, accessed 26 August 2014.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Bernard Hogan-Howe new Metropolitan Police commissioner, BBC News Online, 12 September 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Witness Statement of Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, The Leveson Inquiry, 20 January 2012, accessed 23 July 2014.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 33.6 Patrick Sawer, The 'broken home' that shaped Britain's top policeman, The Telegraph, 18 Sept 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  34. #006/2011 – Review of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary press release, 21 March 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  35. Vikram Dodd, Met police's new commissioner walks into budget storm, The Guardian, 26 September 2014, accessed 10 October 2014.
  36. Vikram Dodd, Who will be the next Metropolitan police commissioner?, The Guardian, 16 August 2011, accessed 5 September 2014.
  37. Tim Walker, New Met chief Bernard Hogan-Howe is embarrassed by Tories' 'hero’ claims, The Telegraph, 14 September 2011, accessed 26 August 2014.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Sandra Laville, Nicholas Watt & Vikram Dodd, Plebgate: the police, the Tory party and the ex-chief whip, The Guardian, 19 December 2012, accessed 5 September 2014.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 39.5 39.6 Sarah Sands, Justin Davenport, Bernard Hogan-Howe: Dixon of Dock Green is my role model... police officers are not social workers, Evening Standard, 15 September 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Colin Drury, Our job is to stop crime. We’re not social services, The Star, 10 May 2013, accessed 25 August 2014.
  41. Metropolitan Police faces £500m 'cuts challenge', BBC News Online, 26 September 2012, accessed 5 September 2014.
  42. 42.0 42.1 'He must have the most difficult job in London. He gets bashed whichever way he turns': London's police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe under fire , London Evening Standard, 27 March 2014, accessed 1 June 2014.
  43. Tattoo ban for Metropolitan Police officers, BBC News Online, 17 October 2012, accessed 5 September 2014.
  44. Martin Bentham, Police did alter crime figures, admits Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, London Evening Standard, 8 January 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  45. Plebgate, Wikipedia, undated, accessed 5 September 2014.
  46. 46.0 46.1 Nicholas Watt, Met chief Bernard Hogan-Howe knighted in New Year honours, The Guardian, 29 September 2012, accessed 23 July 2014.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Jacob Rees-Mogg, Plebgate: Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe must resign, The Telegraph, 11 June 2013, accessed 5 September 2014.
  48. Hogan-Howe in grovelling apology to Andrew Mitchell after cop admits lying in Plebgate row, The Express, 10 January 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  49. John Stevens, Not for the fainted-hearted, paperback edition, Phoenix books, 2006, p. 345.
  50. Vikram Dodd, Leveson report criticises Met police over phone-hacking investigation, The Guardian, 29 November 2012, accessed 5 September 2014.
  51. Tom Harper, Female former Met police officer awarded £40,000 for sexual and racial harassment , The Independent, 2 September 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  52. Lisa O'Carroll, Sun makes official complaint over police use of Ripa against journalists, The Guardian, 6 October 2014, accessed 10 October 2014.
  53. Jonathan Freedland, The new Met chief's U-turn is welcome – he had made a gross misjudgment, The Guardian, 21 September 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  54. Operation Alice, Closing Report, Metropolitan Police, September 2012, para. 5.120, accessed 5 September 2014.
  55. Dominic Ponsford, Met says seizure of journalists' phone records to identify Plebgate sources was 'appropriate and lawful', Press Gazette, 3 September 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  56. David Green Allen, RIPA requests, plegate and journalistic sources, Financial Times]], 3 September 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  57. John Ashton and Sean Rayment, Met chief's bid to use secret courts to seize whistleblowers' files is foiled in victory for open justice, Daily Mail, 8 March 2014, accessed 10 October 2014.
  58. William Turvill, There's nothing to see here: Met Police chief ignores nearly 50 questions about use of RIPA to spy on journalists, Press Gazette, 24 September 2014, accessed 10 October 2014.
  59. Bernard Hogan-Howe Wants More Police Tasers, LBC Radio, 22 November 2011, accessed 5 September 2014.
  60. Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard-Hogan Howe: Why London needs water cannon, London Evening Standard, 27 February 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  61. Rob Evans, Met chief apologises for officer's unlawful use of CS spray on protesters, The Guardian, 27 August 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  62. The Metropolitan Police settle claims with UK Uncut protesters who were assaulted with CS spray, Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors (press release), 27 August 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  63. Bernard Hogan-Howe, National Domestic Extremism Review - Interested Parties Event, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (presentation), 24 May 2011, accessed 20 September 2014.
  64. Alan Travis, Paul Lewis & Martin Wainwright, Clean-up of covert policing ordered after Mark Kennedy revelations, The Guardian, 18 January 2011, accessed 5 August 2014.
  65. #002/2011 – HMIC review announced – NPIOU, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary press release, 18 January 2011, accessed 1 June 2014.
  66. Merrick Badger, Covering up the cover up of a cover up, Bristling Badger, blog', 24 March 2014, accessed 10 October 2014.
  67. Sean O’Neill, Met chief’s report on undercover police was rewritten, ‘’The Times’’, 24 March 2014, paywalled, accessed September 2014
  68. Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, Report into undercover police delayed after new allegations, The Guardian, 20 October 2011, accessed 20 September 2014.
  69. Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, Police accused of allowing undercover officers to lie in court, The Guardian, 19 October 2011, accessed 20 September 2014.
  70. Eveline Lubbers, March 2012: HMIC’s ‘empty’ review leaves little hope for robust scrutiny of undercover cops, Secret Manoeuvres (blog), 1 October 2012, originally published on on 28 March 2012, accessed 5 September 2014.
  71. Matt Salusbury, HMIC review of police "domestic extremism" intelligence-gathering units, 1 February 2012, accessed 5 September 2014.
  72. Mick Creedon, Operation Herne: Report 1 - Use of Covert Identities, Derbyshire Constabulary, July 2013.
  73. Undercover Policing Interim Report, House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, Thirteenth Report of Session 2012–13, 26 February 2013.
  74. Operation Herne report (press release), Metropolitan Police Service, 16 July 2013, accessed 5 September 2014.
  75. Rob Evans, Stephen Lawrence family in undercover officers' files, police admit, The Guardian 16 July 2013, accessed 5 September 2014.
  76. Rob Evans & Vikram Dodd, Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families, The Guardian, 24 July 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  77., website, accessed 1 September 2014.
  78. Jenny Jones, Met Police Confusion About Undercover Sex, Huffington Post, 03 November 2013, updated 23 January 2014, accessed 1 September 2014.
  79. Rob Evans, Police chiefs under pressure to admit truth over women's lawsuit, The Guardian, 11 July 2014, accessed 1 September 2014.
  80. Mr. Justice Bean,Judgement in case of DIL & ors v Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (HQ12X02912), (2014) EWHC 2184 (QB), 2 July 2014, accessed 10 October 2014.
  81. Justin Davenport, Met boss praises 'brave' covert officers, London Evening Standard, 28 July 2015 (accessed 30 July 2015).
  82. Stephen Wright, James Slack & Richard Pendlebury, The police chief who doesn't have a clue: As shredded corruption files storm grows, Met boss tells MPs, 'I don't even know what's missing', Daily Mail, 25 March 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  83. Justin Davenport & Nicholas Cecil, Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe vows to reform police force after Stephen Lawrence spy scandal, London Evening Standard, 7 March 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  84. Joe Murphy & Justin Davenport, Met failing to tackle property crime, says Labour MP David Lammy, London Evening Standard, 24 March 2014, accessed 5 September 2014.
  85. Paul Peachey, Met head Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe 'shocked' by allegations of smear campaign against Stephen Lawrence family, The Independent, 24 June 2013, accessed 5 September 2014.
  86. Vikram Dodd and Rob Evans, Met chief was briefed a year ago about police spying on Lawrence campaign, The Guardian, 12 August 2013, accessed 20 September 2014.
  87. 87.0 87.1 87.2 87.3 87.4 87.5 87.6 87.7 87.8 Andy Whelan, The 'genteel' boy who grew up to become Scotland Yard's 'zero tolerance' Eliot Ness, Mail Online, 18 September 2011, accessed 23 July 2014.
  88. 88.0 88.1 88.2 88.3 88.4 88.5 Bernard HOGAN-HOWE, Debrett's People of Today accessed 1 June 2014.
  89. Mark Chandler, Robin de Peyer, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to retire as Met Police Commissioner, The Standard, 29 September 2016 (accessed Sep 2016)
  90. 90.0 90.1 Vikram Dodd, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to retire as Met police commissioner, the Guardian, 29 September 2016 (accessed Sep 2016)
  91. University of Sheffield, Congratulations to Bernard Hogan-Howe, the newly-appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Management School News, undated, accessed 10 October 2014.
  92. Supplement 56963, London Gazette, 14 June 2003, page 27.
  93. Warrants Under the Royal Sign Manual (notice ID: L-60593-1881279), London Gazette, issue 60593, 6 August 2013, accessed 10 October 2014.
  94. Mr Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM,, accessed 1 October .
  95. Mr Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM,, accessed 1 October 2014.
  96. £1m appeal to build James Bulger memorial to mark murdered tot's 18th birthday, Daily Mail, 14 March 2008, accessed 1 October 2014.
  97. 97.0 97.1 The annual reports for Centrex for the periods 2005-2007 do not mention Hogan-Howe so putting his involvement as earlier; Centrex, or the Central Police Training and Development Authority, was established in 2002 and abolished in 2007 when its function was taken over by the National Policing Improvement Agency; see Central Police Training and Development Authority, Gov.UK, undated, accessed 1 October 2014.
  98. Annual Report and Accounts 2012/3, National Policing Improvement Agency, 1 July 2013, accessed 10 October 2014.
  99. Police Air Operations – a review of the national strategy 2009, Association of Chief Police Officers, 2009, accessed 10 October 2014.
  100. Minutes of North Midlands Helicopter Joint Members Panel, Derbyshire Constabulary, 6 October 2009, accessed 10 October 2014.
  101. Mr Bernard Hogan-Howe,, accessed 1 October 2014.
  102. Met Commissioner to welcome delegates at ASIS Europe 2012, press release, undated, accessed 26 August 2014.
  103. Patrons of the Police Roll of Honour Trust, Police Roll of Honour Trust, 1 November 2013, accessed 1 June 2014.
  104. Police Reform Green Paper – The Future of Policing, Association of Chief Police Officers, 2008, accessed 10 October 2014.
  105. Profile: Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, BBC News Online, 12 September 2011, accessed 5 September 2014.
  106. Jonathan Brown, Merseyside's gang-buster Bernard Hogan-Howe gets a new beat as head of the Met , The Independent, 13 September 2011, accessed 26 August 2014.
  107. At the time Edlington, near Doncaster, was the home of the Yorkshire Main Colliery, a key site in the Miners’ strike and where hatred of the Metropolitan Police for the role in breaking the strike remains strong: see Martin Wainwright, The miner and the copper, The Guardian, 24 February 2009, accessed 26 August 2014. At one point the village was targeted by police snatch squads which caused a near riot: see Miners’ strike - 30 years on: 'We won't stop till we've got justice', Morning Star, 1 March 2014, accessed 26 August 2014. It has not yet been demonstrated whether the incident described by Bernard Hogan-Howe is related to this set of disturbances.
  108. Lee Glendinning, Contenders to be the next Metropolitan police chief, The Guardian, 4 September 2008, accessed 5 September 2014.
  109. G. A. Bavister, Warrants Under the Royal Sign Manual (notice ID: L-59197-931305), London Gazette, issue 59197, 28 September 2009, accessed 10 October 2014.
  110. G. A. Bavister, Warrants Under the Royal Sign Manual (Notice ID: L-59921-1447304), London Gazette, 28 September 2011, issue 59921, accessed 10 October 2014.
  111. Sandra Laville & Peter Walker, Norman Bettison 'should consider his position' after Hillsborough report, The Guardian, 13 November 2012, accessed 26 August 2014.
  112. Sir Norman Bettison in probe over Stephen Lawrence family claims, BBC News online, 3 July 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  113. IPCC finds case to answer for gross misconduct against Sir Norman Bettison, Independent Police Complaints Commission, 28 May 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  114. Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Rowenna Davis, Undercover policeman married activist he was sent to spy on, The Guardian, 19 January 2011, accessed 26 August 2014.