Find out about our chief officers.


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 one of 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 in May 2021.

On behalf of the NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council) he holds the national lead for Crime Prevention and is the chair of the National Counter Corruption Advisory Group. He is the Chairman of the England Police Rugby Union Football Club. 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.

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Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods began his policing career in July 1996 when he joined Lancashire Constabulary as a Police Constable having previously been a Special Constable in Greater Manchester.

He enjoyed a wide and varied career within Lancashire serving the public across many areas in including Burnley, Blackburn, Preston and Blackpool. He has served in several departments including Response, Road Policing & Motorway, Operational Support Unit, Child Sexual Exploitation Teams, Neighbourhood and Change Management.

He is an accredited Specialist Strategic Firearms, CBRN, Public Order and Multi Agency Commander and has commanded many large-scale operations over a number of years including firearms and counter terrorism operations, civil emergencies, demonstrations, football matches and security operations. He was also led the initial multi agency response in the early stages of COVID pandemic within Lancashire as chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum.

He was promoted to ACC in 2017 before being appointed as the Deputy Chief Constable in 2019. In 2021 he was awarded the Queens Police Medal for his services to policing being described as an ‘exemplary operational leader’.

He is also the NPCC lead for Police Driving

On 1st September 2021 he was appointed as the Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.

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Ian has previous service across three forces, having originally joined Lancashire Police. He was initially posted to Blackpool, before moving around the County, serving in a variety of uniformed roles, up to the rank of Chief Inspector.

He was promoted to Superintendent in 2006 and performed several senior command roles in Merseyside, including BCU Commander at Sefton, before promotion to ACC in 2012. During this time he has commanded several high profile events including the Grand National in 2014 and 2015.

In January 2016, Ian became Deputy Chief Constable for Greater Manchester Police.

Ian has a Masters degree in Police Leadership and is the National Policing Lead for Vulnerable Adults.


Mabs joined Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in October 2018 on promotion to Assistant Chief Constable. He started his policing career in West Yorkshire Police in 1996.

Whilst working for West Yorkshire Police Mabs served at every rank as a detective including Detective Chief Inspector, investigating complex and serious crime. He was promoted to Superintendent in 2012 and has worked in a variety of uniformed operational and strategic roles.

Prior to joining GMP, as a Chief Superintendent Mabs was the Commander for Wakefield and also spent time as the Commander for Leeds District which is considered to be the largest police command unit outside of London.

During this time he has managed a number of high profile events including the Chapeltown Carnival in Leeds, high risk football matches and right wing protests across West Yorkshire.

Mabs is a Strategic Firearms Commander and a Gold Public Order Commander.

Mabs was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018 for his services to charity and policing.

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Rob was appointed ACC in April 2016.  Since joining GMP in 1992 he has worked on a number of division/branches including being the Divisional Commander for South Manchester between 2009 and 2014 following a period of time as Temporary Divisional Commander at Salford.

During that time he was a member of the Manchester Community Safety Partnership Board as well as chairing the Manchester Violent Gangs Board. His time at South Manchester involved significant change including the merger of the South Manchester and Metropolitan Divisions and the piloting of a new policing model.

Rob grew up in Greater Manchester and attended school in Bury before studying for an Economics Degree. He subsequently obtained a Masters Degree in Police Management and Leadership from the University of Manchester.

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Chris Sykes is a Assistant Chief Constable in Greater Manchester police where he has worked for the last 23 years.

His current responsibilities are for the Information Services Transformation Programme – a huge programme transforming the way that Greater Manchester Police uses information services to protect its communities. He has a passion for leading change particularly through the use of new technologies.

Previously, Chris was the Head of Local Policing and Criminal Justice based at Greater Manchester Police's headquarters. He was responsible for Public Service reform, Neighbourhoods, Confidence and Equality, and Criminal Justice and Custody.

Chris is an experienced operational commander. Over the years he has led policing in Bury, Rochdale and Stockport, and previously held senior roles in Manchester and Oldham.

Chris is a strategic firearms commander and gold and silver, public order commander.

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Russ is currently the Chief Officer responsible for Counter Terrorism Policing in the North West (CTPNW). CTPNW is an alliance of forces across the country and the North West forces of Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cheshire form the NW region.

CTPNW comprises around 1,000 staff from across the NW forces who work with the Security Service (MI5) to keep the country safe from terrorism.

Russ has worked in CT for over four years with previous roles of Head of Crime for GMP and Borough Commander in several of GMP’s districts. Largely a detective throughout his career, Russ has worked in a variety of specialist roles including homicide investigation.

Russ was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2018.

Christopher is a highly experienced Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, having held a variety of senior public and private sector roles. A former Chief Financial Officer and main board director of TI Automotive - a private sector business which employs 22,000 people in 28 countries.

His earlier career has been dominated by senior financial and executive director roles in multi-national industrial organisations. Having led the successful management buy-out and eventual sale of the TI Automotive business  in 2008, he has since focused his career on organisations that make a deep social impact.

Christopher has combined a number of non-executive, academic and advisory roles with interim Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive, and Executive Director roles which have included: Ofcom; the charity, Victim Support; the British Council; the Chartered Management Institute; the Government agency, Homes England.

Christopher's previous non-executive board experience also includes having served as; a director of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust where he was chair of the audit committee; a member of the Industrial Development Advisory Board (Government Department for Business Innovation and Skills); chair of the audit committee and board member of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) where he also served as the interim Chief Executive; Board member and Chair of the risk and audit committee at Sheffield Hallam University.

At Victim Support, Christopher was involved with a large number of Police and Crime Commissioners in negotiating and delivering witness and victim support services, and worked closely with MOPAC in London helping to develop their services.

Christopher holds business, economics and management degrees at undergraduate and post graduate levels  from Lancaster, Sheffield Hallam, Bournemouth and Sunderland Universities.

He is a Chartered Manager and a Companion of the CMI; a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants; and visiting Professor at Lancaster University Management School.

Christopher joined Greater Manchester Police as Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) in May 2021, and is now the ACO Chief Resources Officer reporting to the Chief Constable. He is also the Chief Financial Officer for GMP.