HM Inspector of Constabulary and HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services
Mike Cunningham QPM

Mike Cunningham


Mike Cunningham’s police career began when he joined Lancashire Constabulary in 1987. He was operational across the constabulary in a number of different roles and he became Blackpool’s divisional commander in 2002.

He attended the Strategic Command Course in 2005 and was appointed assistant chief constable in Lancashire Constabulary in 2005 and deputy chief constable in 2007.

During his service with Lancashire Constabulary, he was known for his strong commitment to diversity as evidenced by his determination to take on the role of National Policing Lead for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues.

In 2009, he was appointed chief constable in Staffordshire Police.

Nationally, he has led the police service as chair of the ACPO Counter Corruption Advisory Group, as lead for Professional Standards, and as lead of the National Policing Workforce Development Business Area.

In 2013, he was awarded a Queens Police Medal in the New Years Honours list. Most recently, he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Staffordshire University.

Mike Cunningham was appointed as HM Inspector of Constabulary in September 2014 and HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services in July 2017 when our remit was extended to include those services. He has responsibility for forces in the North of England and Northern Ireland. Mike is currently leading on the national inspections of Police Efficiency and Leadership.

Prior to joining the police, he graduated from the University of Durham with a degree in Theology in 1984 and became a teacher.

National Role

Mike Cunningham is responsible for two of HMICFRS’s national functions:

  • Police Leadership; and
  • Effective Local Policing

Regional role

Mike Cunningham is Her Majesty’s Inspector for the Northern Region and deals with the following forces:

  • Cheshire
  • Cleveland
  • Cumbria
  • Durham
  • Greater Manchester
  • Humberside
  • Lancashire
  • Merseyside
  • Northumbria
  • North Yorkshire
  • Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire.