John Stevens, Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington

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The Lord Stevens
of Kirkwhelpington
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
24 May 2005
Life Peerage
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
In office
1 January 2000 – 28 January 2005
DeputySir Ian Blair
Preceded bySir Paul Condon
Succeeded bySir Ian Blair
Personal details
John Arthur Stevens

(1942-10-21) 21 October 1942 (age 81)
Alma mater
ProfessionPolice officer; head of the Metropolitan Police Service (2000–2005)

John Arthur Stevens, Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, KStJ, QPM, DL, FRSA (born 21 October 1942) was Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (head of the Metropolitan Police Service) from 2000 until 2005. From 1991 to 1996, he was Chief Constable of Northumbria Police before being appointed one of HM Inspectors of Constabulary in September 1996. He was then appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Met in 1998 until his promotion to Commissioner in 2000. He was a writer for the News of the World, for £7,000 an article, until his resignation as the hacking scandal progressed.[1]

He sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.

Police career[edit]

Stevens was educated at St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate, the University of Leicester, where he took an LL.B, and the University of Southampton, where he did his MPhil. Before becoming Chief Constable of Northumbria, he served as Assistant Chief Constable of the Hampshire Constabulary (1986–88) and Deputy Chief Constable of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary (1988–91).[citation needed]

He presided over an external police inquiry into allegations in Northern Ireland of collusion between the British Army, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and loyalist terrorists in the murders of Irish nationalists. Stevens's third report, published on 17 April 2003, upheld the claim and explicitly said that collusion leading to the murder of nationalists (and some unionists wrongly thought to be Catholic or nationalist) had taken place. In the aftermath of the report, David Trimble, then-leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, called for a parliamentary inquiry into the collusion, while the leaders of the SDLP and Sinn Féin called for a full public inquiry. A subsequent government ordered review by Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, announced in December 2012, confirmed the findings of the Stevens 1, 2 and 3 Inquiries regarding collusion between loyalist paramilitary groups and British intelligence in killings in Northern Ireland, which resulted in 97 convictions,[citation needed] and a large number of recommendations, which were accepted.[clarification needed]


After his retirement as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, on 6 April 2005 he was created a life peer as Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, of Kirkwhelpington in the County of Northumberland.[2] He headed a Metropolitan Police inquiry, Operation Paget, into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, on 31 August 1997, which reported its findings in 2006.

Lord Stevens was asked by the Conservatives, under David Cameron, to be their candidate for the London Mayoral elections. He declined this offer.[3]

On 29 June 2007, having become one of the UK's leading security experts, in-coming Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Lord Stevens as his Senior Advisor on International Security Issues.[4] David Cameron appointed Stevens as Chair of the Borders Policing Committee in 2007, a position he held for 9 months focusing on the reorganisation and policing of the UK's borders. In 2011, he was appointed by Yvette Cooper MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs to Chair an Independent Commission Policing Commission into the Future of Policing in England and Wales.

The Commission, which reported its findings in Spring 2013, was set up in place of a Royal Commission and is made up of nearly 40 members all of whom are experts in the fields of academia, politics, national and international policing/security as well as key figures from community initiatives and business. In addition the Commission has secured contributions from 35 academics from 25 Universities from around the world including, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Northumbria University and Harvard University.[citation needed]

Lord Stevens became Honorary President of the Police Credit Union in 2007.[5]

He is also Patron of the Police History Society.[6]

Lord Stevens holds positions at a number of security consultancy companies.[7] Since 2014, he has been Chairman of the private investigative and security consulting firm Quest Global Limited, where he is also a person with significant control. In 2020, Lord Stevens was forced to apologise when he was "found in breach of the House of Lords' code of conduct for failing to correctly declare his work for foreign governments" in connection with his position at Quest Global Limited and his other consultancy work.[8][9] Quest Global Limited was also mentioned in connection with the alleged bugging of Sir Frederick Barclay at the London Ritz hotel in 2020 and the subsequent legal action brought by Sir Frederick and his daughter against other members of their family.[10]


Awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the 1992 New Year Honours,[11] he was knighted in the 2000 New Year Honours[12][13] and made Deputy Lieutenant of London in 2001. In 2002 he was made a Knight of the Order of Saint John.[14]

Ribbon Description Notes
Knight Bachelor
  • 2000
Order of St John (KStJ)
  • Knight
  • 2002
Queen's Police Medal (QPM)
  • 1992
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002
  • UK Version of this Medal
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012
  • UK Version of this Medal
Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

In April 2007 Lord Stevens became Honorary Air Commodore of No 3 (Royal Auxiliary) Air Force Police Squadron. He is the Honorary Colonel of Northumbria Army Cadet Force. On 28 November 2005, he was appointed Chancellor of Northumbria University.[citation needed]

He holds an Honours Degree in Law, a master's degree of Philosophy, a Doctor of Law, Honorary Degrees of Doctor in Civil Law, Doctor of Letters and a Doctor of Philosophy.[citation needed]

He is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and was a visiting professor at City University of New York (CUNY).[citation needed]

Lord Stevens holds a Commercial Pilot's Licence and is part owner of several aircraft.[15]

Styles and honours[edit]

  • Mr John Stevens (1942–1963)
  • PC John Stevens (1963-through ranks, including Detective Chief Superintendent-1986)
  • Assistant Chief Constable John Stevens (1986–1989)
  • Deputy Chief Constable John Stevens (1989–1991)
  • Chief Constable John Stevens (1991–1991)
  • Chief Constable John Stevens QPM (1991–1998)
  • Deputy Commissioner John Stevens QPM (1998–2000)
  • Commissioner John Stevens QPM (2000)
  • Commissioner Sir John Stevens QPM (2000–2001)
  • Commissioner Sir John Stevens QPM DL (2001–2002)
  • Commissioner Sir John Stevens KStJ QPM DL (2002–2005)
  • The Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington KStJ QPM DL FRSA (2005–present)


Coat of arms of John Stevens, Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington
Coronet of a Baron
A Heron wings elevated and addorsed Sable beaked legged and holding in the dexter foot a Truncheon Or[16]
Per fess Or and Gules two Pallets counterchanged in the Or issuing in chief a Broad Arrow Sable
On either side a Labrador that on the dexter Sable gorged with a Collar and holding in the interior forepaw a Saxon Cross Or that on the sinister Or gorged with a plain Collar and holding in the interior forepaw a Saxon Cross Sable
In front of a Swallow volant bendwise head downwards Gules a Swallow volant bendwise sinister head downwards Or
The Arms are variation on the red and gold pallets in the Arms of Northumberland with black arrow formations to suggest the lower portion of a portcullis and hence the Police Force, in which Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington was Metropolitan Police Commissioner. The Heron with its truncheon is a watchful bird and the labradors with Saxon crosses are a pun on Kirkwhelpington. The cross represents the kirk or church and the dog is a whelp


  • Stevens, John (2005). Not For The Faint-Hearted: My Life Fighting Crime. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84842-4.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Channel Four News, 6 March 2012
  2. ^ "No. 57608". The London Gazette. 11 April 2005. p. 4657.
  3. ^ Rentoul, John "The day Boris became Mayor was the beginning of the end for Dave", The Independent, 4 May 2008
  4. ^ "Brown unveils new faces". Number 10 Press Office. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007.
  5. ^ Honorary President Police Credit Union (retrieved 21 February 2015)
  6. ^ "About the Police History Society". The Police History Society. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  7. ^ "MPs and Lords, Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, Register of Interests". UK Parliament. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  8. ^ Mikhailova, Anna (18 February 2020). "Former Met Police Commissioner forced to apologise after breaching House of Lords code of conduct". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Report from the Commissioner for Standards: The conduct of Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington" (PDF). UK Parliament. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  10. ^ Coleman, Clive (18 May 2020). "Billionaire's nephew 'caught with bugging device'". BBC News. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  11. ^ "No. 52767". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1991. p. 26.
  12. ^ "No. 55710". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1999. p. 2.
  13. ^ "No. 55950". The London Gazette. 22 August 2000. p. 9336.
  14. ^ "No. 56698". The London Gazette. 20 September 2002. p. 11347.
  15. ^ Stevens, John (2005). Not for the Faint Hearted. Orion Publishing Co. ISBN 0-297-84842-9.
  16. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 2019. p. 4460.

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Chancellor of Northumbria University
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Gentlemen
Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington
Followed by
The Lord Adonis