Home Office appoints council chief to lead police watchdog

Michael Lockwood will become first director general of the Independent Office for Police Conduct

The Home Office. Credit: Steve Cadman

By Jim Dunton

23 Oct 2017

The chief executive of Harrow Council has been appointed to head up the new Independent Office for Police Conduct, which replaces the Independent Police Complaints Commission from January next year.

Michael Lockwood will leave the council be the executive head of the organisation, which was created following major reforms to the IPCC announced by Theresa May during her time as home secretary.

He will bear ultimate responsibility for all decisions made in the IOPC’s investigations and appeals, including the investigation of the most serious and sensitive allegations involving the police, such as deaths and serious injuries in which officers had a role. 


Changes introduced under the Policing and Crime Act 2017 reform the commission’s structure, giving it a director general, supported by deputies, regional directors and a director for Wales.

A board appointed by the home secretary will include a majority of non-executive directors to provide “independent support and challenge” to Lockwood, as well as oversight of the overall running of the organisation.

Police minister Nick Hurd said the appointment of Lockwood (left) was a “key milestone” in the reform of the IPCC and would ensure “clear accountability and oversight” for the running of the new organisation.

“We are absolutely determined to make the police complaints and discipline systems simpler and more transparent for the benefit of the public, and the new, more efficient and effective IOPC will be a vital part of that,” he said.

Parts of Hurd's Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner constituency fall within the bounds of Harrow.

Unusually for a local authority chief executive, Lockwood has served two separate stints at the helm of Harrow Council.

Originally appointed to the role in 2007, Lockwood left with a severance package in 2013 after the then Conservative-run administration deleted his role in a bid to save money.

The authority’s return to Labour control in 2014 sparked a drive to reinstate the post, and Lockwood was appointed and rejoined the authority in 2015.

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