Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, usually just called Assistant Commissioner (AC), is today the third highest rank in the London Metropolitan Police, ranking below Deputy Commissioner and above Deputy Assistant Commissioner.

thumb|right|250px|Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner insignia]

19th century

The rank of Assistant Commissioner was introduced by the Police Act 1856, which abolished the two Joint Commissioners and established a single Commissioner (Sir Richard Mayne) assisted by two Assistant Commissioners. The Assistant Commissioner (Administrative) was in charge of administration and discipline. The Assistant Commissioner (Executive) was in charge of executive business, supplies and buildings. The first two men to fill these posts were Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Labalmondière and Captain William C. Harris respectively.

Like the Commissioner, the Assistant Commissioners were sworn in as Justices of the Peace, although they could not try criminal cases. This continued until 1973. Like the Commissioner, the Assistant Commissioners were mainly appointed from outside the police until well into the 20th century, although career police officers could and sometimes did rise to the rank.

In 1878, Howard Vincent was appointed Director of Criminal Intelligence, a post that had equal rank to the Assistant Commissioners, but not the title. On his resignation in 1884, his post was replaced by a third Assistant Commissioner, the Assistant Commissioner (Crime).

Lettered departments

In 1909, Commissioner Sir Edward Henry, realising that the Assistant Commissioners' workload was becoming too great, appointed a fourth Assistant Commissioner, who took over some of the duties of the Assistant Commissioner (Executive). The four became known as Assistant Commissioners "A", "B", "C" and "L", heading departments with the same letter designations. Assistant Commissioner "A" effectively acted as Deputy Commissioner until 1931, when a separate Deputy Commissioner was appointed. From 1922, Assistant Commissioner "A" was generally known as the Deputy Commissioner.

After World War I, Assistant Commissioner "B" became responsible solely for traffic and lost property, with his other former duties divided between Assistant Commissioners "A" and "L". Assistant Commissioner "L" was responsible for "L" (Legal) Department until its reorganisation in 1931. After 1931, he was renamed Assistant Commissioner "D" and became responsible for policy and planning.

By the end of World War II, Assistant Commissioner "A" (Operations and Administration) was responsible for all uniformed police, including specialist units, except traffic police, which were under Assistant Commissioner "B" (Traffic). Assistant Commissioner "C" (Crime) headed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and Assistant Commissioner "D" (Personnel and Training) was responsible for recruitment, training, welfare, communications and police dogs. In 1970, Commissioner Sir John Waldron designated Assistant Commissioner "D" as the senior Assistant Commissioner. As policing became more technical, Assistant Commissioner "B" also became responsible for technical support.

Reorganisation in the 1980s and 1990s

In 1985, Commissioner Sir Kenneth Newman finally abolished the system of lettered departments. He redesignated the four Assistant Commissioners as:

*Assistant Commissioner Territorial Operations (ACTO), in charge of all uniformed and CID units based on the divisions.
*Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations (ACSO), in charge of all specialised and centralised uniformed and CID units.
*Assistant Commissioner Personnel and Training (ACPT), in charge of all personnel issues, including recruitment, training and welfare.
*Assistant Commissioner Management Support (ACMS), in charge of strategic planning, management services, public relations and a number of other miscellaneous departments.

In 1992, with increasing focus on the Met's image and quality of service, Commissioner Sir Peter Imbert redesignated the ACMS as Assistant Commissioner Inspection and Review (ACIR), in charge of collecting performance data from across the Metropolitan Police area.

In 1995, Commissioner Sir Paul Condon introduced the widest-ranging reorganisation when he increased the number of Assistant Commissioners to six. The previous eight Areas, each commanded by a Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC), were reduced to five, each commanded by an Assistant Commissioner, designated AC 1 to 5. Each Assistant Commissioner also managed a number of headquarters branches. ACSO remained outside the Area system and continued to manage the Specialist Operations units.

Current organisation

In 2000, the system changed again, with policing restructured around the Boroughs and the Areas being abolished. The six Assistant Commissioners were reduced to four again. With the creation of the Specialist Crime Directorate under its own Assistant Commissioner in 2002, there were five Assistant Commissioners, although this seems to have been reduced to four again in 2008.

Assistant Commissioners are equivalent in rank to the Chief Constables of other British police forces and wear the same badge of rank: a crown over crossed tipstaves in a wreath.

Assistant Commissioners

Assistant Commissioners "A"

*Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Labalmondière, 1856–1884
*Sir Alexander Carmichael Bruce, 1884–1914
*Frank Elliott, 1914–1918
*Brigadier-General William Horwood, 1918–1920
*Sir James Olive, 1920–1925
*Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Royds, 1926–1931
*Sir Trevor Bigham, 1931
*Lieutenant-Colonel David Allan, 1931
*Brigadier James Whitehead, 1933–1938
*Lieutenant-Colonel John Carter, 1938–1940
*John Nott-Bower, 1940–1945
*Major John Ferguson, 1945–1946
*Major Sir Philip Margetson, 1946–1957
*Alexander Robertson, 1957–1958
*Douglas Webb, 1958–1961
*Lieutenant-Colonel Ranulph Bacon, 1961–1963
*Sir John Waldron, 1963–1966
*John Hill, 1966–1968
*Andrew Way, 1968–1969
*James Starritt, 1970–1972
*John Mastel, 1972–1976
*Wilford Gibson, 1977–1984
*Geoffrey Dear, 1984–1985

Assistant Commissioners "B"

*Captain William C. Harris, 1856–1881
*Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Pearson, 1881–1890
*Sir Charles Howard, 1890–1902
*Major Sir Frederick Wodehouse, 1902–1918
*Frank Elliott, 1918–1931
*Sir Alker Tripp, 1932–1947
*Sir Henry Dalton, 1947–1956
*Joseph Simpson, 1956–1957
*Douglas Webb, 1957–1958
*John Waldron, 1958–1963
*Andrew Way, 1963–1968
*James Starritt, 1968–1970
*Colin Woods, 1970–1972
*Henry Hunt, 1972–1974
*Patrick Kavanagh, 1974–1977
*Jock Wilson, 1977–1982
*John Dellow, 1982–1984
*Colin Sutton, 1984–1985

Assistant Commissioners "C"

*James Monro, 1884–1888
*Sir Robert Anderson, 1888–1901
*Edward Henry, 1901–1903
*Sir Melville Macnaghten, 1903–1913
*Sir Basil Thomson, 1913–1921
*Major-General Sir Wyndham Childs, 1921–1928
*Sir Trevor Bigham, 1928–1931
*Sir Norman Kendal, 1931–1945
*Ronald Howe, 1945–1953
*Sir Richard Jackson, 1953–1963
*Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Ranulph Bacon, 1963–1966
*Peter Brodie, 1966–1972
*Colin Woods, 1972–1975
*Jock Wilson, 1975–1977
*Gilbert Kelland, 1977–1984
*John Dellow, 1984–1985

Assistant Commissioners "L/D"

*Frederick Bullock, 1909–1914
*Trevor Bigham, 1914–1928
*Norman Kendal, 1928–1931
*Major Maurice Tomlin, 1931–1933
*Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Percy Laurie, 1933–1936
*Sir George Abbiss, 1936–1946
*Major Philip Margetson, 1946
*Colonel Arthur Young, 1947–1950
*Captain John Rymer-Jones, 1950–1959
*Tom Mahir, 1959–1967
*Robert Mark, 1967–1968
*John Hill, 1968–1972
*John Mastel, 1972
*John Alderson, 1972–1974
*Henry Hunt, 1974–1978
*Geoffrey Dear, 1981–1984
*Geoffrey McLean, 1984–1985

Assistant Commissioners Specialist Operations

*John Dellow, 1985–1987
*John Smith, 1989–1990
*William Taylor, 1990–1994
*Sir David Veness, 1994–2005
*Andy Hayman, 2005–2007
*Bob Quick, 2008–

Assistant Commissioners Territorial Operations

*Geoffrey McLean, 1985–1991
*Robert Hunt, 1991–1995

Assistant Commissioners Management Support

*Colin Sutton, 1985–1987
*John Smith, 1987–1989
*Peter Winship, 1989–1992

Assistant Commissioners Personnel and Training

*Colin Sutton, 1987–1988
*Wyn Jones, 1989–1993

Assistant Commissioner Inspection and Review

*Peter Winship, 1992–1995

Assistant Commissioners Central Area (1)

*Anthony Speed, 1995–1999

Assistant Commissioners North-West Area (2)

*Baden Skitt, 1995–1997
*Anderson Dunn, 1997–2000

Assistant Commissioners North-East Area (3)

*Anderson Dunn, 1995–1997
*Paul Manning, 1997–2000

Assistant Commissioner South-East Area (4)

*Ian Johnston, 1995–2000

Assistant Commissioners South-West Area (5)

*Paul Manning, 1995–1997
*Denis O'Connor, 1997–2000

Assistant Commissioner Strategic Development

*Anderson Dunn, 2000–2001

Assistant Commissioners Territorial Policing

*Ian Johnston, 2000–2001
*Michael J. Todd, 2001–2003
*Tim Godwin, 2003–

Assistant Commissioners Policy, Review and Standards

*Michael J. Todd, 2000–2001
*Tarique Ghaffur, 2001–2002

Assistant Commissioner Human Resources

*Bernard Hogan-Howe, 2001–2004

Assistant Commissioner Specialist Crime

*Tarique Ghaffur, 2002–2006
*Stephen House, 2006–2007
*John Yates, 2007–

Assistant Commissioner Central Operations

*Stephen House, 2005–2006
*Tarique Ghaffur, 2006–

Assistant Commissioner Service Improvement

*Alan Brown, 2005–2006

Assistant Commissioner Professional Standards and Intelligence

*John Yates, 2006–2007

Assistant Commissioner Operational Services

*John Yates, 2007
*Alfred Hitchcock, 2007–2008

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