Sir Colin Philip Joseph Woods KCVO CBE QPM (20 April 1920 – 27 January 2001) was an English police officer in the London Metropolitan Police who was also the first Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, from 1979 to 1982.

Colin Woods
1st Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police
In office
1 August 1979 – 1 January 1982
Preceded byNew Office
Succeeded byMajor General Ronald Grey
HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales
In office
Preceded bySir James Haughton
Succeeded bySir James Crane
Personal details
Born20 April 1920
London, United Kingdom
Died27 January 2001
ProfessionPolice officer

Born in London, Woods was the son of a Metropolitan Police Sub-Divisional Inspector and was educated at Finchley Grammar School. He served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps and the Royal Ulster Rifles (into which he was commissioned in February 1944[1]) throughout the Second World War, from 1939 to 1946, and then joined the Metropolitan Police as a Constable, rising through the ranks to Deputy Commander.

In 1966, he was promoted Commander (Traffic) and in 1968 Deputy Assistant Commissioner (Management Services). The following year he was appointed Commandant of Bramshill Police College, and in 1970 returned to the Met as Assistant Commissioner "B" (Traffic).[2] On 31 March 1972 he was moved to be Assistant Commissioner "C" (Crime).[3] This caused a certain amount of controversy, since he had never previously served in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which he was now taking over.[4] Robert Mark, the new Commissioner, had already stated that he believed uniformed and CID officers should be interchangeable in senior posts, and Woods's appointment was the first example of this policy. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1973 Birthday Honours.[5] In 1975, Mark appointed Woods Deputy Commissioner.[6] He was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 1977 Birthday Honours.[7]

On 1 August 1977, Woods was appointed HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary.[8][9][10] He held this post for two years until he was asked to establish the new Australian Federal Police in 1979. He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) in the 1980 New Year Honours.[11]


  1. ^ "No. 36478". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 April 1944. p. 1825.
  2. ^ "Police College Chief", The Times, 19 February 1970
  3. ^ "Administrator is new London CID chief", The Times, 12 February 1972
  4. ^ Obituary of Sir Robert Mark, The Independent, 5 October 2010
  5. ^ "No. 45984". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 May 1973. p. 6481.
  6. ^ "New deputy for Sir Robert Mark", The Times, 16 April 1975
  7. ^ "No. 47234". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1977. p. 7084.
  8. ^ "Policeman-organizer at the top", The Times, 1 June 1977
  9. ^ "Appointments to new posts of police chiefs", The Times, 28 June 1977
  10. ^ "No. 47273". The London Gazette. 12 July 1977. p. 9061.
  11. ^ "No. 48041". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1979. p. 14.


Police appointments
Preceded by
Commander (Traffic), Metropolitan Police
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Deputy Assistant Commissioner (Management Services), Metropolitan Police
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commandant of the National Police College
Succeeded by
Preceded by Assistant Commissioner "B", Metropolitan Police
Succeeded by
Preceded by Assistant Commissioner "C", Metropolitan Police
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Succeeded by
Preceded by HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Preceded by
First incumbent
Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police
Succeeded by