Martin Hewitt has taken up his position as the new chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). The NPCC enables independent chief constables and their forces to work together to improve policing for the public. The organisation co-ordinates the national police response to the threats faced in the UK, such as terrorism, crime and national emergencies.
Hewitt said: “It’s a real privilege to lead the NPCC. As I take on the chairmanship, there are real challenges for policing, but also a generational opportunity for police leaders to make a step change in terms of how we play our part in protecting the public. I’m ambitious about what the NPCC can and should achieve working in partnership across policing.”
Hewitt began his policing career with Kent Police in 1993 and transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service in 2005. He has led front line policing across London as assistant commissioner for the last year, with previous command responsibility for local policing and specialist crime commands. Hewitt has led the national police response to adult sexual offences and kidnap since 2014 and, from 2015, has been an NPCC vice-chair.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid commented: “I’m proud that we have a collaborative and strong relationship with the NPCC. The organisation has been a key partner in tackling recent challenges on serious violence and co-ordinating operations across forces. Martin has a distinguished track record as a public servant and I look forward to working with him to continue this essential work.”
Mark Burns-Williamson OBE, chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, added: “On behalf of all Police and Crime Commissioners, I want to welcome Martin to his new position at this critical time for policing and thank Sara Thornton for all of her work while in the role. Martin brings a huge amount of policing experience with him and I’m confident that we can build a strong working relationship going forward.”
Shift in national security threats
Lynne Owens CBE, director general of the National Crime Agency, observed: “I look forward to working with Martin in his new role. As an experienced police leader he understands the pressures from the shift in national security threats (like counter-terrorism and serious and organised crime) including the impact these have on communities and also the demands for local policing services. It’s critical that we lead a whole system response which ensures the right capabilities at local, regional and national level. Martin will be critical to this assessment and the choices placed before ministers in Parliament.”
Chief constable Mike Cunningham, CEO of the College of Policing, stated: “The chair of the NPCC plays a vital role in policing. On behalf of the College, I want to welcome Martin to his new role. He’s a very experienced police leader who brings a huge amount of operational expertise and knowledge to the post. We look forward to working closely with him to build on Sara Thornton’s time as chair and ensure that we continue to develop the profession of policing and improve the service for the public.”
Chief superintendent Paul Griffiths, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association, said: “I wish Martin success in his new role as chair of the NPCC. There are many current and future challenges for policing and we’re keen to maintain a strong working relationship with the NPCC, whereby healthy engagement and debate can ensure we all play our part in delivering the best possible policing service for our communities.”
Former NPCC chair Sara Thornton concluded: “I’m delighted that Martin is the new chair of the NPCC. He’s a hugely experienced operational chief who has dealt with some of policing’s toughest challenges. I have every confidence that he will be a great leader.”
Chief constable Dave Thompson will support Hewitt as vice-chair after being recently elected to the role. He joins existing vice-chair Giles York. Both chief constables operate in their roles in addition to their day jobs as chief officers within their respective forces.