BJ Harrington

BJ Harrington

Chief Constable, Essex Police

Brought up in North London and went to Catholic Comprehensive School. Left school with a couple of A levels and worked for the bank and the Customs and Excise whilst also being a member of the Volunteer Forces.

Joined the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 1990 as a police constable in the then Chingford and Walthamstow areas of North East London.

BJ moved then to the first of a number of postings to the Territorial Support Group (TSG), working at Caledonian Road and then North Finchley bases. In this role he developed his interest in public order and event policing, as well as gaining policing experience across London in both uniform and plain clothes.

On promotion to sergeant in 1996, BJ moved to Tottenham Division, firstly leading a uniform team and then specialising as neighbourhood team sergeant for Tottenham High Road and the Broadwater Farm Estate. Through this period he gained an important understanding of the critical role of community policing, both in building community confidence as well as fighting crime.

In 1999 BJ returned to the TSG at Finchley and, for the next four years, served across a range of duties, leading uniform and crime operations as well as being involved in significant and varied public order duties. Within this period he was promoted to inspector and ran one of the TSG units, finishing up as the acting chief inspector.

Following his stint with the TSG, BJ was promoted to chief inspector, taking up the operations role at Paddington Green within the City of Westminster. As well as leading response policing for this busy area of central London, he also had responsibility for the Secure Counter Terrorist Custody suite. BJ qualified as an advanced public order commander and was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Police Leadership from Leicester University during this period.

In 2006 BJ was promoted to superintendent and moved to Lewisham in South East London in the operations role. Here he led community and response policing and oversaw the implementation of Safer Neighborhood Teams as well as the policing of Millwall Football Club. He developed key multi-agency partnerships and joint tasking across a range of issues, including licensing, crime prevention and drug and alcohol intervention.

Whilst at Lewisham, BJ also took over leading the Criminal Investigation Department alongside his operations function. This provided him with valuable insight into more complex crime investigations and the opportunity to integrate these often separate areas of work. It was also during this period that he graduated as part of the Cabinet Office Leaders UK senior public service leadership programme.

Leaving Lewisham, BJ moved to become chief superintendent in charge of the Met’s three command and control centres, bringing about significant change and consolidation of new operating systems. He continued as a public order commander at events such as Notting Hill Carnival and, within this, led the MPS-wide review into stop and search.

In the summer of 2012, BJ worked as one of the Silver commanders for the London Olympics and, from there, was seconded to the MPS One Met Model change team. In this role, working to the Deputy Assistant Commissioner in Specialist Crime and Operations, he led the development and change of Pan London Policing operations and Specialist Crime.

In 2013, he was appointed the Borough Commander for Camden in North London, leading the policing of one of London’s busiest areas with a significant night-time economy and also a very diverse community. Within this role he supported the implementation of the first Safer Neighbourhood Board and the increase of Volunteer Policing Cadets from a handful to over 100 young people.

BJ completed the Strategic Command Course in 2014 and, in October 2014, was promoted to Area Commander for North London. In June 2015 he was given responsibility for public order and operations policing across London.

Moved to Essex in 2017 on secondment as Deputy Chief Constable and then promoted to Chief Constable in October 2018.

Throughout his senior career, BJ has led some high-profile and sensitive operations, including Gold Commander for State visits, large-scale public disorder and ceremonial events serving as a Public Order Gold, Strategic Firearms and Counter Terrorism Commander. He remains the National Lead for Public Order Policing.

BJ is married to a serving officer and has two daughters.