History of the Metropolitan Police
Sir Ian Blair QPM, MA, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Sir Ian Blair, 51 joined the Metropolitan Police in 1974 under the graduate entry scheme. His first posting was as a Police Constable in Soho.
He was educated at Wrekin College, Shropshire, Harvard High School, Los Angeles and Christ Church, Oxford. At Christ Church, he gained a Second Class Honours Degree in English Language and Literature.
He served as a Constable, Sergeant and Inspector in both uniform and CID in central London. In 1985, as a Detective Chief Inspector, he took charge of the CID at Kentish Town in north London where, as well as conducting a number of major enquiries, he was responsible for the identification of those killed at the King's Cross disaster.
Also in 1985, he published the book 'Investigating Rape: A New Approach for Police', which had a major impact on the way in which the police investigate offences of serious sexual assault.
In 1988, as a Superintendent, he managed the Metropolitan Police Crime Investigation Project which redesigned the purpose and structure of local CID offices throughout London. In 1989, he was appointed to Kensington Division.
In 1991, he was promoted to Chief Superintendent and appointed Staff Officer to Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, based at the Home Office.
On his return to the Metropolitan Police in 1993, he was appointed the officer in charge of Operation Gallery, at that time the largest police corruption enquiry in London for a decade.
In 1994, he was appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police with responsibility for territorial policing and took charge of policing the Newbury by-pass protests.
In 1996, he changed portfolio to take responsibility for personnel matters. In 1997, Ian Blair became designated deputy to the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police. This posting was short-lived because he became Chief Constable of Surrey in January 1998.
In February 2000, he returned to the Metropolitan Police as the Deputy Commissioner. As well as supporting the Commissioner in the overall direction of the MPS, he has lead responsibility for change management, for anti-corruption work, for diversity and for information management.
He is a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford and an honorary member of the Senior Common Room of Christ Church. In 1998, he was made a Visiting Fellow of the International Centre for Advanced Studies, New York University. His work there culminated in his speech in July 1998 to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) which won widespread publicity concerning the relationship between public policing and the private security sector.
Since his return to the MPS, he has been one of the foremost in-service advocates of police reform and was instrumental in the development of Police Community Support Officers, who are now to be seen supporting regular police patrols in London and elsewhere. He is also one of the main spokesmen for the police service about criminal justice reform.
In 1999, he was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service and he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours, 2003, for his services to policing.
In Feburary 2005, Sir Ian Blair succeeded Sir John Stevens as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
He resigned as Commissioner on 2nd October 2008 after losing the support of the mayor of London, Boris Johnson following Mr Johnson's taking over the Metropolitan Police Authority chairmanship.