Who we are
About Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary
Next to the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – established in 1856 – is the senior institution in the policing landscape, as it oversees, inspects and reports upon the efficiency and effectiveness of all Home Office police forces and a number of others. Current inspections include assessments of undercover policing, and of the police’s response to domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation.
Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary, including Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister, under section 54 of the Police Act 1996. As independent holders of public office under the Crown, appointed under Royal Warrant, they are neither civil servants nor police officers.
For many years, Inspectors of Constabulary were appointed from the pool of former chief constables. All Inspectors from a policing background stop being warranted officers when they take up their posts with HMIC.
In 1993, the first full-time Inspectors of Constabulary who had not previously served as police officers were appointed. Today, two of the Inspectors of Constabulary – Mike Cunningham QPM and Stephen Otter QPM – are former chief constables; Zoë Billingham was previously director of community safety and sustainability at the Audit Commission; Wendy Williams was Chief Crown Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the North East; and Drusilla Sharpling CBE was Chief Crown Prosecutor at the CPS in London.
In 2012, Sir Thomas Winsor was appointed as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary. He is the first holder of that role to come from a non-policing background.
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary
Sir Thomas Winsor
In October 2012, Sir Thomas was appointed as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary
Zoë Billingham was appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in September 2009.
Mike Cunningham, QPM
Mike Cunningham was appointed as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in September 2014.
Stephen Otter, QPM
Stephen Otter was appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in March 2012
Dru Sharpling, CBE
Dru Sharpling was appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in September 2009
Wendy Williams was appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in March 2015.