John Woodcock (police officer)

Sir John Woodcock CBE CStJ QPM (14 January 1932 – 21 September 2012) was Chief Inspector of Constabulary[1] from January 1990 to July 1993.[2]

Woodcock joined the Lancashire Constabulary as a Police cadet in 1947. Between 1950 and 1952 he served in the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police during the Korean War.[3] He rejoined the Lancashire Constabulary after the war as a Constable rising to the rank of Chief Inspector by 1965.

In 1965, he transferred to the Bedfordshire and Luton Constabulary and was promoted to Superintendent and then Chief Superintendent.

In 1968 he transferred to Gwent Constabulary and was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable and then in 1970 to Deputy Chief Constable.

Woodcock then served as Deputy Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary from 1974 to 1978.

After this he was promoted Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, holding the post for one year. Then he was appointed Chief Constable of South Wales Constabulary from 1979 to 1983. Whereafter he became HM Inspector of Constabulary for Wales and the Midlands until 1990.[4]

In 1990, he was appointed Chief Inspector of Constabulary, a post he held for three years, before retiring in 1993.


He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 1976. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1983, and was knighted in 1989.




Ribbon Description Notes
  Knight Bachelor (Kt)
  • 1989
  Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • Commander
  • Civil Division
  • 1983
  Order of St John (CStJ)
  • Commander
  Queen's Police Medal (QPM)
  • 1976
  Korea Medal
  • 1952
  United Nations Korea Medal
  • 1952
  Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal * 1977
  Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal


  1. ^ Hillsborough Independent
  2. ^ HMIC Profile
  3. ^ HMIC Profile
  4. ^ ‘WOODCOCK, Sir John’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016 ; online edn, April 2016 accessed 15 May 2016
Police appointments
Preceded by HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England, Wales and Northern Ireland
1990 –1993
Succeeded by
Preceded by
T G Morris
Chief Constable
South Wales Constabulary

1979 –1983
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Robert Boyes
Chief Constable
North Yorkshire Police

1978 – 1979
Succeeded by
Kenneth Henshaw