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Bernard Hogan-Howe, Baron Hogan-Howe

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Bernard Hogan-Howe, Baron Hogan-Howe QPM Kt (born 25 October 1957[citation needed]) is an English former police officer and was the head of London's Metropolitan Police as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis from 2011 until 2017.

The Lord Hogan-Howe

Official portrait of Lord Hogan-Howe crop 2.jpg
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
In office
12 September 2011 – 22 February 2017
DeputyTim Godwin
Craig Mackey
Preceded bySir Paul Stephenson
Succeeded byCressida Dick
Personal details
Bernard Howe

(1957-10-25) 25 October 1957 (age 61)
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Spouse(s)Marion Hogan-Howe (née White), Baroness Hogan-Howe
Alma materMerton College, Oxford
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
University of Sheffield
ProfessionPolice officer

Born in Sheffield, Hogan-Howe joined the South Yorkshire Police in 1979, becoming District Commander of the Doncaster West area, as well as obtaining university qualifications in law and criminology. In 1997, he transferred to Merseyside Police as Assistant Chief Constable for Community Affairs, moving on to area operations. He then joined the Metropolitan Police as Assistant Commissioner for personnel, before being appointed Chief Constable of Merseyside Police.

After two years as an Inspector of Constabulary, Hogan-Howe was briefly Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police before being appointed Commissioner in September 2011. He once interrupted an interview in order to personally apprehend a criminal, and later made the controversial decision not to arrest protesters carrying an ISIS flag.

Hogan-Howe was knighted in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to policing.

Early life and careerEdit

Hogan-Howe was born in Sheffield, the son of Bernard Howe. He attended Hinde House School, a dual primary and secondary school, where he completed his A-levels. He was brought up single-handedly by his mother, whose surname of Hogan he later added by deed poll. After leaving school, he spent four years working as a lab assistant in the National Health Service.[1]

He began his police career in 1979 with South Yorkshire Police and rose to be District Commander of the Doncaster West area. In 1997, he transferred to Merseyside Police as Assistant Chief Constable for Community Affairs, moving onto area operations in 1999. Hogan-Howe then once again transferred this time to the Metropolitan Police as Assistant Commissioner for personnel, July 2001–2004.[2] He was then appointed Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, 2005-9.[3][4]

Whilst still with South Yorkshire Police, he was identified as a high-flier and selected to study for a MA degree in Law at Merton College,[5] University of Oxford, which he began at the age of 28.[6] He later went on to gain a postgraduate diploma in Applied Criminology from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from the University of Sheffield.[7][8]

On Merseyside, Hogan-Howe had called for a "total war on crime"[3] and argued that the health and safety case which was successfully brought against the Metropolitan Police after the de Menezes shooting was restrictive of allowing the police to do their work.[9] He had also called for a review of the decision to downgrade cannabis from a class B to a class C drug.[10] He thereafter served as one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary, 2009–2011.[11]

On 18 July 2011, the Home Secretary announced Hogan-Howe's temporary appointment as Acting Deputy Commissioner following the resignation of the Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, and the appointment of the incumbent Deputy Commissioner as Acting Commissioner. During that period, a decision was made within the department of professional standards to use the Official Secrets Act to compel The Guardian to reveal its sources regarding the News International phone hacking scandal. The order was swiftly rescinded five days prior to Hogan-Howe's formal term of office.[12]


Hogan-Howe applied for the position of Commissioner himself in August 2011 along with other candidates,[13] and was successful in being selected for the post on 12 September 2011 after appearing before a panel of the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London and receiving the approval of the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, before he was formally appointed by the Queen, with effect from 26 September.[14]

In 2013, Hogan-Howe was criticised for defending police officers who had, according to an appeal court ruling, used "inhuman and degrading treatment", in breach of the Human Rights Act, when handling an autistic boy in a swimming pool. The criticism was specifically directed against the money spent on the appeal and his refusal to apologise and to improve training police officers for the humane treatment of disabled people.[15] In September 2012, Hogan-Howe did ask an independent commission headed by Lord Adebowale to review cases where people with a mental illness died or were harmed after contact with police. The report arrived in May 2013[16] and contained severe criticism; Hogan-Howe responded to the commission's recommendations with a plan for change, announced in June 2014.[17]

The 'Total Policing' visionEdit

Hogan-Howe outlined his vision for 'Total Policing' in 2011 shortly after becoming Commissioner. This vision sought to promote total professionalism from the workforce, a total war on crime and total care for victims. It was hoped that the 'Total Policing' vision would benefit from a commitment to 'total technology' - involving the roll-out of new technology across the Met, including tablet computers, body worn video and a major overhaul of the Met's existing IT systems.[18] In a question and answer session following his valedictory speech at the Royal United Services Institute in February 2017, Hogan-Howe expressed regret at having not embarked upon the IT programme earlier.[19]

Historic sexual abuse casesEdit

Hogan-Howe served as Commissioner in the aftermath of the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal in 2012, after which more allegations of historic sexual abuse were made to police and police began a following a guidance by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary which said "the presumption that a victim should always be believed should be institutionalised".[20] Operation Yewtree, which was set up by the Met following the Savile scandal, saw many celebrities arrested and repeatedly bailed without charge. As a result, then-Home Secretary Theresa May proposed that bail time be limited to 28 days and Hogan-Howe supported the proposal.[21] The 28-day limit came into effect in April 2017.[22] Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini was arrested by Operation Yewtree police and spent a year on bail before being told he would not face charges. Gambaccini described Hogan-Howe as "the villain of my life" and that he "attempted to destroy my life and end my career for their own public relations purposes in a 100 per cent fraud".[23]

The Met launched Operation Midland in 2014 after Carl Beech, then known publicly under the pseudonym "Nick", alleged that several high profile men had abused him and that he had witnessed them murder three boys. DS Kenny McDonald issued a statement in which he said that they believed Beech's allegations were "credible and true" but the probe was closed after 16 months when no evidence was found to corroborate the claims.[24] Hogan-Howe initially refused to apologise to those wrongly accused by Beech,[25] but did so after a report by Richard Henriques detailed numerous failings by the Met and found that those accused were victims of false allegations.[26] After these failings, Hogan-Howe called for the Met to change their approach, and no longer automatically believe complainants.[20] Beech was convicted of charges related to lying to the police in July 2019 and was sentenced to 18 years in jail.[20]

Position on ISIS supportersEdit

Hogan-Howe was criticised in the wake of the 2015 Sousse attacks, after a father and his young daughter paraded at Parliament Square with the flag of ISIS (ISIL). Hogan-Howe supported his officers after they had refused to arrest the pair,[27] and said that carrying an ISIS flag is 'not necessarily the worst thing in the world' and should not lead to an automatic arrest. This was contrary to an earlier statement by the then Prime Minister, who had written that "The position is clear. If people are walking around with ISIL flags or trying to recruit people to their terrorist cause, they will be arrested and their materials will be seized."

Hogan-Howe was later supported by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who said that 'we live in a free country' and that he did not support the banning of iconography associated with the extremist group.[28]

Staff Confidence in Senior Leadership of MPSEdit

In 2014, an internal staff survey was conducted. In response to the question “I have confidence in the leadership provided by the senior leaders in the Met” only 1 in 5 respondents agreed, whilst 3 in 5 disagreed with this statement.[29]

Institutional racismEdit

In June 2015, Hogan-Howe said there was some justification in claims that the Metropolitan Police is institutionally racist.[30]


In September 2016, Hogan-Howe announced that he planned to retire in February 2017.[31]

Police Roll of Honour TrustEdit

In November 2013, Bernard Hogan-Howe took up the role of Patron of the national police charity the Police Roll of Honour Trust. He joined Stephen House and Hugh Orde as joint patrons.[32]

Honours and awardsEdit

Hogan-Howe was awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) in the 2003 Birthday Honours[33]

Hogan-Howe was knighted in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to policing,[34][35] being invested with the honour on 21 May 2013.[36]

Hogan-Howe's honours and decorations include:


Ribbon Description Notes
  Knight Bachelor (Kt)
  • 2013
  Queen's Police Medal (QPM)
  • 2003
  Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002
  • UK Version of this Medal
  Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012
  • UK Version of this Medal
  Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

On 14 November 2012, Hogan-Howe was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv) by Sheffield Hallam University.

On 15 July 2013, Hogan-Howe was awarded an honorary doctorate of Laws (LLD) by the University of Sheffield.[37]

On 7 November 2017 Hogan-Howe was created a Life Peer taking the title Baron Hogan-Howe, of Sheffield in the County of South Yorkshire.[38]


  1. ^ Sanderson, Frank; Doran, Clare (13 July 2010). "Bernard Hogan-Howe". Liverpool John Moores University. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  2. ^ "MPA appoints two Assistant Commissioners: DAC Tarique Ghaffur and ACC Bernard Hogan-Howe". Metropolitan Police Authority. Archived from the original on 1 April 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b "'Evict gun thugs' families' call". BBC News. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  4. ^ "Temporary Chief Constable takes up the baton". Merseyside Police. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  5. ^ Sands, Sarah; Davenport, Justin (15 September 2011). "Bernard Hogan-Howe: Dixon of Dock Green is my role model... police officers are not social workers". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  6. ^ Johnston, Philip (13 September 2011). "Bernard Hogan-Howe: a tough cop for a tough job at the Metropolitan Police". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Who might be next Met Police commissioner?". BBC News. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  8. ^ "The Sheffield Executive MBA: Case study: Bernard Hogan-Howe". University of Sheffield. Archived from the original on 18 June 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  9. ^ Hogan-Howe, Bernard (5 May 2007). "No more brave policemen". The Times. London. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  10. ^ Owen, Jonathan (8 April 2007). "Cannabis is wrecking lives, says public school head". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary". Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. Archived from the original on 7 September 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  12. ^ Freedland, Jonathan (21 September 2011). "The new Met chief's U-turn is welcome – he had made a gross misjudgment". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Four in running to be next Met Police commissioner". BBC News. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  14. ^ "Bernard Hogan-Howe new Metropolitan Police commissioner". BBC News. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  15. ^ Trauma of autistic boy shackled by police, by Yvonne Roberts, The Observer, Sunday 17 February 2013
  16. ^ Independent Commission on Mental Health and Policing Report
  17. ^ "The Met's New Approach To Recognising Mental Health". This is our town Wimbledon. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  18. ^ "'About the Metropolitan Police Service' (p.4)".
  19. ^ "Fiona Hamilton on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  20. ^ a b c Reed, Jim (26 July 2019). "Were police too quick to believe historical sex abuse claims?". BBC News. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  21. ^ Travis, Alan (26 July 2019). "Suspects should stay anonymous until charged, MPs say". BBC News. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  22. ^ Peck, Tom (2 April 2017). "Police bail for suspects capped at 28 days". The Independent. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Paul Gambaccini brands Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe the 'villain of my life' as he says he might sue the Metropolitan Police". The Independent. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  24. ^ Rajeev, Syal; Laville, Sandra (21 March 2016). "Operation Midland: how the Met lost its way". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  25. ^ Grierson, Jamie (23 February 2016). "Bernard Hogan-Howe refuses to apologise over Bramall investigation". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  26. ^ Walker, Peter (8 November 2016). "Met Police admits Scotland Yard made catalogue of errors over false VIP sex abuse investigation". The Independent. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  27. ^ "Police let pair fly Isil flag outside Parliament", 6 Jul 2015
  28. ^ "Extremists are 'free' to fly Isil flags in London, says Boris Johnson", 8 Jul 2015
  29. ^ Dodd, Vikram (7 June 2015). "Majority of Met police officers lack confidence in force's leadership". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Met acknowledges 'some justification' to claims the force is 'racist'". BBC News. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  31. ^ "Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to retire". BBC News. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  32. ^ "New Patrons". Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  33. ^ "No. 56963". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2003. p. 27.
  34. ^ "New Year Honours: Kate Bush Heads Arts Field". Sky News. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  35. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1012. p. 1.
  36. ^ "No. 60593". The London Gazette. 9 August 2013. p. 15795.
  37. ^ "Summer Graduation Ceremonies 2013". University of Sheffield. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  38. ^ "No. 62106". The London Gazette. 13 November 2017. p. 20838.

External linksEdit