Stephen Otter QPM has been reappointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary. Otter was originally appointed to the role back in March 2012 following a rigorous recruitment process which included approval by both the Prime Minister and Her Majesty The Queen.
Otter has responsibility for a number of forces and agencies including the Metropolitan Police Service, the British Transport Police and the National Crime Agency. He leads the Inspectorate’s work on counter-terrorism policing, organised crime and the Strategic Policing Requirement and has also played a key role in successfully overseeing development of the new all-force annual Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection programme.
The PEEL programme represents a radical shift in terms of how police forces are held to account by enabling the public to see clearly across a range of simple categories how their force is performing when it comes to cutting crime and providing a service that’s both fair and good value for money.
Speaking about Otter’s reappointment, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Stephen Otter has brought a wealth of experience to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary following a successful career in the police force. His work on inspections around the effectiveness of police services’ use of Stop and Search and the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Historical Enquiries Team has been invaluable to policing and the public. I’m delighted to be able to reappoint him as Inspector of Constabulary for another five years.”
In response, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Stephen Otter commented: “I’m delighted to have been reappointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary. I’m now looking forward to continuing my work with colleagues at HMIC focused on our important task of inspecting and reporting on policing with the aim of encouraging improvement.”
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor added: “The reappointment of Stephen Otter is very good news for the public, the police service and HMIC. Stephen’s immense experience and professionalism in the inspection of forces is enduringly invaluable, particularly so as HMIC continues with the most significant enlargement of its workload since the organisation began operations. I look forward to working with Stephen as we continue to provide the public with information on their local forces.”
*Otter’s reappointment followed the normal process for Crown appointments and was approved by the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister and Her Majesty The Queen
Stephen Otter QPM: the Curriculum Vitae
Stephen Otter began his police career in 1982 with the Thames Valley Police before moving to the Royal Hong Kong Police as an inspector, where he led teams in CID and ‘vice’ tackling the unlawful sex trade and drugs supply.
He then spent 13 years with the Metropolitan Police Service where his career ranged across operational postings in central London, leadership roles at large-scale public order events and strategic roles at New Scotland Yard. Otter left the Met at the rank of Commander.
Otter went on to serve as Assistant Chief Constable and then Deputy Chief Constable for the Avon and Somerset Constabulary where he led operations designed to drive down street robbery rates linked to open crack cocaine markets in the area.
Before his appointment as HMI, Otter was the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police between 2007 and 2012 where he combined leading the 6,000-strong police force with being the national lead on equality, diversity and human rights for the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Otter was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2008. He holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Post-Graduate Diploma in criminology from Cambridge University. He’s also a Fellow of the Royal College of Arts.
At the national level, Otter is responsible for four of HMIC’s key functions: Counter-Terrorism Policing, Organised Crime Policing, the Strategic Policing Requirement and arrangements for HMIC’s monitoring of police performance.
Otter is currently the Senior Responsible Owner for the following areas of work: Inspection of Undercover Policing, Assurance of Special Grants Applications (such as those for the G8 Summit), Inspection of the Ministry of Defence Police Firearms Command and Control and Inspection of HMRC Proceeds of Crime arrangements.
At the regional level, Stephen Otter is Her Majesty’s Inspector for the National and London Region and deals with the following forces and agencies: the Metropolitan Police Service, the City of London Police, the British Transport Police, the National Crime Agency, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Jersey, the Isle of Man and other forces by invitation.