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The preferred candidate to be the next Chief Constable of Essex Police

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex has announced his choice to be the force’s new Chief Constable – Stephen Kavanagh, currently Deputy Assistant Commissioner  in the Metropolitan Police Service.

Joining Nick Alston on the selection board were Joanna Killian, Chief Executive of Essex County Council, Paul West, Policing Advisor and former Chief Constable of West Mercia, and John Cooke, independent member and a former senior officer in the RAF.

Stephen Kavanagh is currently Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations, Metropolitan Police Service.


Stephen Kavanagh

Stephen Kavanagh

Mr Kavanagh, the PCC’s preferred candidate for Chief Constable, is subject to a confirmation hearing of the Police and Crime Panel at their meeting of February 21, 2013.

Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle announced his decision to retire from policing for personal reasons in November 2012, but will continue to lead Essex Police until May 3, 2013.

Nick Alston said: “Stephen Kavanagh comes to this role with exceptional experience of policing, having held many high profile and demanding positions. 

“Stephen was brought up in Essex, and his father was an officer in Essex Police.  He is enthusiastic about taking on the leadership of the force.  He is also committed to working in partnership with everyone in the community to continue to keep Essex safe. 

“We were fortunate to have four outstanding candidates for the position.   I am delighted that I will be able to work closely with Chief Constable Barker-McCardle to ensure a smooth and professional transition in the leadership of Essex Police.”

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said: “I feel hugely privileged to have been recommended as the next Chief Constable of Essex Police. If confirmed by the Police and Crime Panel, I greatly look forward to working alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner and everyone in the force to deliver our shared vision for policing and keeping our communities safe.

“I was born and bred in Essex, and I feel very proud to have been presented with this opportunity.”

Biographical details of Stephen Kavanagh, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Specialist Operations, Metropolitan Police Service.

Mr Kavanagh joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1985 and was posted as a constable to Leyton in East London.

On promotion to Detective Sergeant he worked at Plaistow, AMIP Homicide and the Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13) in investigative and forensic management positions. Later as a Detective Inspector he was a founding member of the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force where he had a key role in implementing Community Safety Units, critical incident training for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and helped to write the ACPO Race/Hate Crime Manual which responded to the recommendations laid out by the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.

In 1998 he took on the role of Homicide Senior Investigating Officer for East London, developing new working practices and leading on 50 murder investigations. In 2002 he obtained an M Phil in Criminology at Wolfson College, Cambridge completing a thesis on attrition rates in rape cases.

As a Detective Superintendent in 2003 he was appointed Head of Intelligence in the Anti-Corruption Command and represented the MPS on the national Anti-Corruption Advisory Group as well as developing the Covert Finance Manual and ‘Corruption Proofing’ processes. In 2005 he was appointed staff officer to the Assistant Commissioner responsible for Modernisation & Professional Standards and worked to London Gold following the 7/7 and 21/7 bombings.

Mr Kavanagh was promoted to Chief Superintendent and became the Borough Commander for the London Borough of Barnet where he served for three years, reducing crime by a third and delivering the highest sanction detection rates for serious assaults and robberies.

In 2008, he completed the Strategic Command Course at Bramshill and was promoted to Area Commander for North London. In January 2010 he was posted as Commander to SO15 Counter Terrorism Command where he led on developing a clearer performance culture working closely with the Security Service in support of local policing teams.

In April 2011, Mr Kavanagh was promoted to DAC for Territorial Policing (TP) where he was responsible for crime performance in North London. He was a driving force behind the TP development program, Chair of the Confidence and Satisfaction Board, and established the London Muslim Community Forum.

In November 2012, Mr Kavanagh was appointed DAC for Specialist Operations responsible for protection and security. He was also given responsibility for investigations into phone hacking and ancillary issues (Operations Elveden, Weeting and Tuleta).

Stephen Kavanagh lives in Essex, with his wife, their 13 year old son and an unhinged border collie.

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

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