In conversation with Stephen Watson - Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police

Date: 04/06/2024
Time: 1.00pm - 3.00pm
Borough: Manchester
Contact Name: Events Team
Contact Email:
Contact Telephone: 01613934321

Elliot House
151 Deansgate
M3 3WD

Please join us for the first event of this kind, our In Conversation with Stephen Watson, Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police. The event will provide a platform for an engaging dialogue and insightful discussion with Stephen, hosted by our very own Chris Fletcher, Policy & GMLSIP Director. Stephen will share his perspectives, experiences, and expertise on a variety of topics.

Attendees have the opportunity to interact directly with the guest, asking questions and participating in the conversation.


Stephen Watson is amongst the most experienced senior officers in the country having joined Lancashire Constabulary in 1988. He was appointed to Merseyside Police in 2006 on promotion to Chief Superintendent, where he initially headed up the force's Strategic Development Department. He subsequently served for 3 years as Area Commander for Liverpool North, one of the largest and most challenging Basic Command Units in the country.


In 2011, he was appointed to the Metropolitan Police as Commander for the East Area, with responsibility for all aspects of operational policing across nine London boroughs. This dynamic and diverse area is home to over 2.3 million Londoners and he held command of 6,250 police officers and staff with a total operating budget of £325 million.


As a qualified firearms and public order commander, he regularly performed Gold Command roles in a number of high-profile policing operations and critical incidents, including a fatal helicopter crash in central London and in working with partner agencies across East London so as to restore public confidence in the aftermath of the 2011 riots. As a senior member of the 2012 Olympic Command Team, he was awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation in recognition of his role, which involved the planning and delivery of all territorial policing across London throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games.


In June 2015 Stephen returned to the north of England, having been appointed Deputy Chief Constable for Durham Constabulary, and in July 2016 Stephen took up his appointment as Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police (SYP). During his tenure, SYP became the most improved force in the country for 3 consecutive years and is today amongst the very top tier of high performing forces.


Stephen became Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in May 2021.  GMP is the second largest force in England and Wales with circa 14,500 officers and staff; and an operating budget of approximately £820m.


His appointment came at a difficult time for GMP.  The force had been placed into ‘Special Measures’ by HMICFRS given the manifold failings in the organisation at that time.  Such was the extent of early progress that GMP was formally brought out of external engagement in October 2022 – the most rapid recovery journey ever recorded in contemporary British policing history.  GMP achieved the welcome epithet of most improved in the country during 2022/23 and today remains powerfully resurgent across all measures of police performance.


In March 2023, Stephen was appointed, by the Home Secretary, to be a non-executive Director on the Board of the College of Policing.  In July 2023, he assumed the role of Service Director for the Executive Leadership element of the UK’s Police Leadership Programme.  This is policing’s most senior leadership development course and assists in the identification and training of the future leaders of British policing.


Stephen has previously led for the National Police Chief’s Council in respect of Crime Prevention and was Chair of the National Counter Corruption Advisory Committee.


His formal management qualifications include a Master's Degree in Business Administration. In 2019, Stephen was awarded the Queens Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service.  He was extraordinarily honoured to receive the award personally from HM Queen Elizabeth II. 


Registration deadline: 03/06/2024

NON MEMBERS £15.00 Excluding VAT
MEMBERS £0.00 Excluding VAT