Lord (Ian) Blair QPM

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Metropolitan Police Commissioner 2005-2008

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Ian Blair introduced structural reforms in the Met’s 53,000-strong workforce, and led the police service in the wake of the London bombings. He considers a range of threats (from Internet crime to foreign and home-grown terrorism, corruption and drug abuse), and examines the corresponding risk registers. On a different note Ian also analyses crisis management, from 7/7 to Deepwater Horizon, and the challenge of dealing with ‘difficult’ people.


Ian Blair was appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police just months before the 2005 terrorist attacks in London. His tenure as Britain’s top police officer was marked by change and turmoil in the service at all levels.

Ian’s police career spanned 35 years and included several senior leadership positions, including Chief Constable of Surrey. He served in uniform and in the CID, and was Staff Officer to HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary. He gained a reputation as a ‘thinking man's policeman’ and led the call for a more diverse organisation, reflecting the community they had to serve.

The events of July 2005 demanded a re-evaluation of security procedures and of investigation and prevention policies. Ian was one of the architects of an extensive reform progreamm for the Met, and of the community support officer scheme and changes in neighbourhood policing. He found himself at the centre of a number of political controversies, but significantly he also presided over an overall fall in London crime rates and a nationwide overhaul of counter-terrorism strategy.

Ian retired from the Met in 2008. Now Lord Blair, he is co-director of a training programme for senior police officers in India and is a visiting professor at universities in the UK and US. He addresses all aspects of leadership and culture, as well as change, organisation and crisis management. He has written for the likes of Prospect and New Statesman and delivered the 2005 Dimbleby Lecture.

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