08 July 2022

Sir Mark Rowley: From West Midlands Police to head of the UK’s largest force

08 July 2022

Sir Mark Rowley made his name as the person who helped to transform the UK’s counter-terrorism approach and lead London’s police response in one of the biggest incidents the capital has faced in recent years.

The 57-year-old retired from policing in 2018, but was confirmed to be returning as the Met Police’s chief on Friday.

It comes close to exactly three months since former commissioner Dame Cressida Dick had her last day.

During the intervening years, he has been working on specialist security projects for firms and technology or data-led transformation with start-ups.

Sir Mark began his policing career in 1987 with West Midlands Police after gaining a degree in Mathematics from St Catharine’s College in Cambridge.

He spent many years working as a bobby on the beat before rising through the ranks of policing to become chief constable of Surrey Police in 2008, eight years after joining the force.

He is credited with lifting the public confidence levels in Surrey to the highest in the country during his time as chief.

He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2011. That same year, he joined the Metropolitan Police as assistant commissioner for Specialist Crime and Operations, shortly after the London Riots.

Sir Mark is credited with transforming the approach to UK counter-terrorism and policing gangs (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

During that time, he supported the policing of major events in the capital, including the 2012 Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

In 2014, he joined the National Police Chiefs’ Council as the lead for counter-terrorism.

Sir Mark is said to have transformed the approach to UK counter-terrorism and policing gangs – and helped to increase community engagement and workforce diversity.

He also led the police response to the London Bridge terror attack in 2017, when eight people were killed.

Sir Mark was in charge of reforms in policing of public order, organised crime and fraud and launched Operation Falcon, a team which was created to combat the growth of online fraud and cybercrime.

After Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe retired in 2017, Sir Mark reportedly applied for the role of commissioner of The Met – but lost out to his predecessor, Dame Cressida.

He then retired from policing a year later and was knighted for his exceptional contribution to national security and national leadership “at a time of unprecedented threat”.

Sir Mark is married with two adult children.

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