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Paul Stephenson (police officer)

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Paul Stephenson (police officer)

Sir Paul Stephenson
QPM
Stephenson pictured in South London, May 2010
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
In office
28 January 2009 – 18 July 2011
Deputy Tim Godwin
Preceded by Sir Ian Blair
Succeeded by Bernard Hogan-Howe
Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service
In office
16 March 2005 – 28 January 2009
Preceded by Sir Ian Blair
Succeeded by Tim Godwin
Personal details
Born Paul Robert Stephenson
(1953-09-26) 26 September 1953
Bacup, Lancashire
Profession Police officer

Sir Paul Robert Stephenson, QPM (born 26 September 1953)[1] was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, 2009-2011, the most senior police officer within the United Kingdom.

On 17 July 2011, Stephenson announced his intention to resign from the post of Commissioner as the result of speculation regarding his connection with Neil Wallis, arrested on suspicion of involvement in the News International phone hacking scandal.[2][3]

Biography

Stephenson grew up in Bacup in the Rossendale district of east Lancashire, the son of a butcher.[4] He attended Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School where he excelled at swimming and became head boy.[5][6]

Stephenson originally desired a career in the footwear industry, and took up work at the Bacup Shoe Company factory in nearby Stacksteads. By the age of 20 he was made a trainee manager, but in 1975 he followed his elder brother into the police force.[7][8]

He now shares a home in Lancashire with his wife Lynda and their three children.[9]

Career

Stephenson joined the police service in 1975, aged 21 and spent much of his early service as a constable attached to the Lancashire Underwater Search Unit. In 1982 Stephenson attended the Bramshill police training college near Hook in Hampshire as a sergeant on the Special Course at the same time as Sir Hugh Orde, Peter Clarke, Tim Brain, Paul Kernaghan, Frank Whitely, Jane Stitchbury and numerous other chief police officers. He became a sergeant in Bacup (1983), then an inspector in Burnley (1984) and a chief inspector in Colne Traffic Department (1986). He became a superintendent at the age of 34 in February 1988 when in Accrington as sub-divisional commander before being appointed to a Headquarters research and planning post where he also acted as staff officer to his then Chief Constable, Brian Johnson CBE, QPM, who was professional advisor to Sir Peter Taylor during the course of him undertaking the Hilsborough Inquiry (1989-1990). Stephenson was thus party to all of the material submitted to and considered by the Taylor Inquiry, albeit in a relatively junior position. He took a six month secondment to the (former) RUC in the early 1990s as a sub-divisional commander, a posting that ended in some acrimony. He returned to Lancashire to a further Headquarters support post before being appointed in 1994 as a sub-divisional commander then divisional commander in Preston. He has also served as assistant chief constable in Merseyside Police starting in 1994 until 1999 and deputy chief constable in Lancashire from May 1999 under Chief Constable Pauline Clare. Stephenson supplanted Pauline Clare and was himself appointed as chief constable of Lancashire Constabulary in July 2002 and promoted to deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in February 2005.

In September 2008 it was announced he would become acting commissioner of the Met from 1 December, following the resignation of Sir Ian Blair. In January 2009 it was announced that he had been appointed as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.[10]

Stephenson is a close colleague of his contemporary, Sir Norman Bettison, having worked with him during the Hilsborogh enquiry when both were acting as support to their chief constables.

Stephenson was nicknamed "Rusty" by colleagues in the Metropolitan Police, referring to his "near-permanent tan".[7]

Resignation

In July 2011, Stephenson's judgement was questioned after it emerged that Neil Wallis, a former executive editor of the News of the World had acted as a media consultant to the MPS in 2009 and 2010,[11] and also that in early 2011 Stephenson received £12,000 of free hospitality from a Champneys health spa, where Wallis was working at the time whilst Stephenson was recovering from surgery for the removal of a non malignant tumour in his femur.[12] On 14 July 2011, Wallis was arrested by the Metropolitan Police investigating the News of the World phone hacking scandal.[4]

On 17 July, in a lengthy statement[13] in which he defended his actions, Stephenson announced his intention to resign as commissioner, saying that questions surrounding his integrity would otherwise become detrimental to the Met as a whole. The Deputy Commissioner, Tim Godwin, became Acting Commissioner[14] in the interim between Sir Paul's resignation and the appointment of his successor, Bernard Hogan-Howe.[15]

This is an excerpt from Stephenson's statement.

Titles, styles, ranks & honours

Stephenson was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for services to policing in May 2000,[10] followed in 2007 by an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.[16] He was knighted in the Queen's 2008 Birthday Honours.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Sir Paul Stephenson, QPM Biography".  
  2. ^ Met Police Chief Quits Amid Hacking Claims, Sky News, 17 July 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Biography".  
  4. ^ a b "Profile: Sir Paul Stephenson", BBC News, 17 July 2011
  5. ^ "Friends of BRGS Spring 2004".  
  6. ^ "Police chief returns to his roots". Bury Times. 12 February 1999. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Lydall, Ross (15 July 2011). "The Met's top cop, Sir Paul Stephenson".  
  8. ^ "Bacup-born police chief denies Madeleine McCann case claims".  
  9. ^ Fitzpatrick, Katie (9 August 2009). "Top cop comforts daughter".  
  10. ^ a b Laville, Sandra (27 January 2009). "Sir Paul Stephenson appointed as new Metropolitan Police commissioner". London:  
  11. ^ "'"Arrested NOTW Deputy 'Was Police Consultant. Sky News. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  12. ^ Juliette Garside (17 July 2011). "Met chief faces questions over spa stay". Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Stephenson, Paul (17 July 2011). "Statement from the Commissioner".  
  14. ^ "May 'sorry' over Sir Paul Stephenson resignation".  
  15. ^ "Bernard Hogan-Howe new Metropolitan Police commissioner". BBC News. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  16. ^ Shah, Bashir (8 April 2008). "Honorary Fellows".  

External links

  • October 2008Times
  • October 2008Preston Citizen
  • October 2008Evening Standard
Police appointments
Preceded by
Sir Ian Blair
Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
2005–2009
Succeeded by
Tim Godwin
Preceded by
Sir Ian Blair
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
2009–2011
Acting: 2008–2009
Succeeded by
Bernard Hogan-Howe
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