Open main menu

Steve House (police officer)

  (Redirected from Stephen House)

Sir Stephen House QPM (born 1957) is a Scottish senior police officer who is currently Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.[1]

Stephen House

Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Assuming office
December 2018
SucceedingSir Craig Mackey
Assistant Commissioner for Met Operations
Assumed office
Chief Constable of Police Scotland
In office
1 October 2012 – 30 November 2015
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byPhil Gormley
Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police
In office
2007 – 1 October 2012
Succeeded byCampbell Corrigan
Personal details
BornGlasgow, Scotland
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen
ProfessionPolice officer

Early lifeEdit

House was born in Glasgow in 1957 and grew up in Castlemilk, before moves to Bishopbriggs and Inchinnan in the metropolitan area of Glasgow. His father, William, worked for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, finishing his career as a senior manager. His mother, Alice, worked in a laboratory until becoming a full-time parent to her children. He has a younger brother, Jonathan, who was also a senior police officer, as Police Commander for Sheffield, and a trained hostage negotiator, before becoming a senior officer in local government in Bristol and Cardiff and currently, a Director with PwC.[2][3]

House was initially educated at the independent Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow but, when he was 11, his family moved to London, where he continued to be privately educated, in Hampstead. He has acknowledged that his Glasgow accent led to his being singled out and that this probably led to his adoption of an Estuary English voice, although he claims to feel himself Scottish and, particularly, Glaswegian.[4] House returned to Scotland in 1976, to study History and English Literature at the University of Aberdeen.

Early police careerEdit

House cites good experiences of the police in Aberdeen during his time as a student there, while also noting that he wanted a role in a disciplined, hierarchical environment.[4]

He joined Sussex Police in 1981, transferring in 1988 to Northamptonshire Police, where he was promoted to Sergeant. He remained a uniformed officer until 1992 and progressed to Chief Inspector before moving in 1994 to West Yorkshire Police where he worked as a Superintendent in the Performance Unit. He was promoted to Divisional Commander in Central Bradford prior to being appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police in 1998.

Metropolitan Police ServiceEdit

He joined the Metropolitan Police in December 2001, as a Deputy Assistant Commissioner, working in Policy Review and Standards. In early 2003, he moved to Territorial Policing, setting up the Territorial Support Group within the Central Operations Branch, where he was appointed Assistant Commissioner. In 2006, as Commander of the Specialist Crime Directorate, he had responsibility for a diverse command including homicide, child abuse, economic crime, the Flying Squad, undercover policing, gun crime, forensics and the disruption of criminal networks.[5] In February 2018 he was re appointed as an Assistant Commissioner and later promoted to Deputy Commissioner in October 2018.

On 5 October 2018, House was announced by the Government as the new Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, a post he took up in December 2018 following the retirement of Sir Craig Mackey.[6]

Strathclyde PoliceEdit

House was appointed as Chief constable of Strathclyde Police in 2007 and joined the force formally in November that year, succeeding Sir Willie Rae, the retiring Chief Constable.

His time in Strathclyde saw a substantial increase in officer numbers and a marked decrease in crime, most notably violent crime. Under his command, the Strathclyde force launched a major effort to combat the gang culture that had driven much of crime in Glasgow. This was carried out with a combination of aggressive and often outspoken policing. The Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) proved successful in combating local gangs through a combination of persistent arrests and diversion tactics to steer youths away from crime.

During his time at Strathcyde Police, House also helped to establish the Scottish Government's Joint Action Group on Football, of which he was a member. He had called on the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond to host a football summit in March 2011. The summit was held following a number of high-profile incidents at Old Firm football games, and a steady increase in incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour taking place across the Force area on days when games between the two clubs were taking place. The Joint Action Group was established soon afterwards.

Application for appointment as Metropolitan CommissionerEdit

While in post at Strathclyde, and after being contacted by Home Office officials, Stephen House applied to become the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.[7] following the resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson. Bernard Hogan-Howe was eventually appointed to the post.

House acknowledged that he was disappointed at being unsuccessful in his application. He was quoted as saying "You don't put yourself forward for a job like that lightly, and unfortunately you do it in the full glare of publicity, so it was a pretty difficult situation".[4]

Police ScotlandEdit

Following roles of increasing responsibility and seniority in a number of police forces, he became first Chief Constable of Police Scotland in October 2012 and served in that role until November 2015. In February 2011, in advance of a conference on the future of policing, House commented that a national Scottish police force would be better equipped to deal with major incidents.[5][8]

On 25 September 2012 it was announced that House was to be appointed as the Chief Constable of the new Police Scotland, which came into operation on 1 April 2013. On 1 October 2012, he was sworn in as Chief Constable.[9]

On 27 August 2015 it was announced he would stand down from the post in 3 months.[10] His last day in the job was 30 November 2015.[11] His replacement was Phil Gormley.[12]

Armed policeEdit

His decision to use armed police officers for normal duties has been heavily criticised by many, including Scottish politicians,[13] Police federation members[14][15] and other senior police officers.[16] This decision has however been reintroduced in Police Scotland.

Police Roll of Honour TrustEdit

In November 2013, House took up the role of Patron of the national police charity the Police Roll of Honour Trust. He joined Bernard Hogan-Howe and Hugh Orde as joint patrons.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

House has been married since 1987, with three children, a boy and two girls, and lives in Helensburgh on the Firth of Clyde, 20 miles west of Glasgow. He has few interests outside of his family and his job,[4] although he enjoys hill walking, watching rugby and reading science fiction. He is a keen motorcyclist and was known to turn up unannounced at police stations on a motorcycle when he was Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police.[18]


House was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 2005 for distinguished service.[5] He was knighted in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to law and order.[19][20]



Ribbon Description Notes
  Knight Bachelor (Kt)
  • 2013
  Queen's Police Medal (QPM)
  • 2005
  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
  • 2003

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Home - The Met". Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Former policeman Jon House new Cardiff council boss – BBC News". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  3. ^ Barry, Sion (24 May 2013). "Cardiff council chief executive Jon House on his new role with PwC". Wales Online. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Peter Ross (14 April 2013). "Interview: Stephen House, Scotland's top policeman". The Scotsman. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Profile: Police Service of Scotland Chief Constable Stephen House | Scotland". News. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  6. ^ "New Metropolitan Police Service Deputy Commissioner appointed". HM Government. 5 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Top Scottish officer emerges as Met chief front-runner – BBC News". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Who might be next Met Police commissioner? – BBC News". 17 August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  9. ^ news/2012/10/01/new-police-chief-discussing-jobs-51226-31943770/
  10. ^ "Sir Stephen House to quit as Police Scotland chief constable – BBC News". 1 January 1970. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Chief Constable Sir Stephen House spends last day in job". BBC News. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Former Crime Agency chief Phil Gormley appointed new head of Police Scotland". BBC News. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Scotland's police chief ridiculed by his own force's officers as they applaud and cheer attacks on his leadership". Daily Record. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  15. ^ Wilkie, Stephen. "Sir Stephen House set to step down | UK | News | Daily Express". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  16. ^ Greg Russell (10 April 2015). "Ex-police chief: I left the force because of Stephen House's style | News | The National". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  17. ^ "New Patrons". Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  18. ^ "Stephen House: profile of the front runner for British policings top job". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  19. ^ "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 1.
  20. ^ "Birthday Honours List 2013" (PDF). HM Government. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
Police appointments
Preceded by
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Central Operations)

Succeeded by
Tarique Ghaffur
Preceded by
Tarique Ghaffur
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Crime)

Succeeded by
John Yates
Preceded by
Sir Willie Rae
Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police
Succeeded by
Campbell Corrigan
New title Chief Constable of Police Service of Scotland
Succeeded by
Phil Gormley
Preceded by
Pat Gallan as Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Crime and Operations
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Met Operations)