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 – Roger Baker QPM and Stephen Otter QPM – are former chief constables; Zoë Billingham was previously director of community safety and sustainability at the Audit Commission; and Drusilla Sharpling CBE was Chief Crown Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in London.

In 2012, 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.

Read more about the previous Chief Inspectors of Constabulary

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary

Tom Winsor

Tom Winsor

In October 2012, Thomas Winsor was appointed as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

Read Tom Winsor’s biography

Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary

Zoë Billingham

Zoë Billingham

Zoë Billingham was appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in September 2009.

Read Zoë Billingham’s biography

Mike Cunningham, QPM

Mike Cunningham, QPM

Mike Cunningham was appointed as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in September 2014.

Read Mike Cunningham’s biography

Stephen Otter, QPM

Stephen Otter, QPM

Stephen Otter was appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in March 2012

Read Stephen Otter’s biography

Dru Sharpling, CBE

Dru Sharpling, CBE

Dru Sharpling was appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in September 2009

Read Dru Sharpling’s biography