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About the NPCC Chair

The NPCC membership elects a full-time Chair, who holds the office of Constable and the rank of Chief Constable under the Police Reform Act 2002. Sara Thornton is the current Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council.

Sara Thornton, CBE, QPM
Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council

Sara 2

In April 2015 Sara Thornton became the first Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). The NPCC replaced the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) as a new body bringing together the expertise of police leadership to coordinate operational policing and agree national approaches in the public interest.

Sara Thornton joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1986 and over the next fifteen years her career alternated between operational postings in West London and strategic roles within New Scotland Yard. Sara served with Thames Valley Police as Assistant Chief Constable Specialist Operations from November 2000 and as Deputy Chief Constable from August 2003. Between 2003 and 2007 she was Chair of ACPO Intelligence Portfolio and was responsible for the first two National Strategic Assessments in 2004. She served as Acting Chief Constable from January 2006 and then from April 2007 served as Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police until March 2015. Between 2010 and 2015 she was a Vice Chair of ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters and Director of the Police National Assessment Centre. During this time Sara was also elected as Vice President of the ACPO from 2011 until 2015.

In 2006 Sara was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal and in the 2011 New Year’s Honours she was awarded a CBE. She is also a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies, a member of the Advisory Board for the Oxford University Centre for Criminology and an active alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Trust. In July 2011 she was awarded a Master of Studies degree (MSt) in Applied Criminology and Police Management from Cambridge University. In March 2012 she received a Career Achievement Award by the Police Training Authority Trustees. She also holds honorary doctorates from Oxford Brookes University and Buckinghamshire New University. She lives in Oxford and has two sons aged 26 and 17.

Vice Chairs

The NPCC Chair is supported by two Vice Chairs, each of whom conduct their NPCC role in addition to their full time operational role as Chief Constables. The Vice Chairs act as peer advisors and provide support to the Chair and deputise in their absence.

Peter Vaughan
Chief Constable of South Wales Police


Peter Vaughan became a Vice Chair of the National Police Chiefs Council in April 2015, having served as Vice President and the last President (Acting) of ACPO.

Peter is the Chief Constable of South Wales Police, a force he joined in 1984, and is proud to have served at every rank in all parts of the force area, policing the communities where he grew up and still lives. Between 2003 and 2006 he served as ACC with Wiltshire Police.

Peter attended Swansea University studying Management Science and Operations Research. He has a diploma in Applied Criminology from Cambridge University, in 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Cardiff University and in 2015 an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Wales.

Peter is the national policing lead for the Strategic Policing Requirement, sits on the Professional Committee of the College of Policing, is Chair of the Strategic National User Group (Niche) and is a member of the All Wales Criminal Justice Board. He is Chair of the Welsh Joint Emergency Services Group and is the President of the Association of Police Health and Safety Advisors.

In 2013 Peter was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours list. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan and an Officer of the Order of St John and is an Independent Trustee for St John Cymru. He is a Trustee of the South Wales Police Youth Trust, an independent member of the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences Advisory Board and a Council Member of Princes’ Trust Cymru.

He is married with two children.

Martin Hewitt
Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police

Vice Chair MH

Martin Hewitt became Vice Chair of the National Police Chiefs Council in April 2015.

Martin is Assistant Commissioner Professionalism in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). He is the NPCC lead for both adult sexual offences and kidnap and extortion. In his current post, Martin leads for professional standards and is the MPS Management Board lead for the forthcoming Public Inquiry into undercover policing.

Martin joined the MPS in 2005, and after being the first head of the newly formed Met Intelligence Bureau, he has served in the ranks of Commander and Deputy Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for gangs, organised crime and specialist crime investigation.

From 1993 to 2005, Martin served in Kent Police where he undertook a number of roles with a focus on detective posts in both crime and counter terrorism.

Prior to his police service, Martin spent seven years as a Commissioned Officer in The Royal Artillery. He is an Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, and was awarded the Queens Police Medal in the 2014 Birthday Honours.

Martin is married with four children and lives in London.