Introducing Bernard Hogan-Howe, New Met Commissioner

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 90 months ago
Introducing Bernard Hogan-Howe, New Met Commissioner

Bernard Hogan-Howe has been appointed to the top job at the Met, so it's only fair to ask: who is he?

Well, his previous job was at independent assessors of police forces HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. Before that he was head of Merseyside Police, notably during the Rhys Jones murder when he showed himself to be very tough on gun crime. The BBC also notes that he's not averse to getting his hands dirty, leaving his chauffeur driven car to run after a drunk driver in 2006.

He's not completely new to London either. He was an Assistant Commissioner in the Met between 2001 and 2004 and has been filling in as Deputy Commissioner since July. So he'll be more than aware of the issues facing the force – cuts, accusations of corruption, and constant public scrutiny of public order issues (riots and protests spring immediately to mind).

Something else he appears to have going for him is knowing when to keep quiet. A couple of papers have theorised that Sir Hugh Orde was actually better qualified and the choice of the Metropolitan Police Authority, but that his comments gently rejecting political calls for water cannon and rubber bullets may have seen him cast in the role of 'outspoken maverick' – and we know Boris doesn't like police chiefs who have too many opinions.

So good luck, Bernard Hogan-Howe. We don't envy you one little bit, and we'll only bring up the fact that your name is not quite as good as Stephen Otter, who was also reckoned to be up for the job, just this once. Maybe.

Knitted policeman created by Heather Brown, photograph by M@ Brown

Last Updated 14 September 2011