BJ Harrington


Chelmsford, Essex

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BJ Harrington


Chelmsford, Essex

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Status: ACTIVE

Job duty

First Name
Middle Name
Collar Number

Annual Salary
Chief Constable
Date Hired
Hourly Rate


Brought up in North London and educated at Saint Ignatius College in Enfield, Ben-Julian - or ‘BJ’, started policing when he joined the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 1990 as a Police Constable in the then Chingford and Walthamstow Division of North East London. He brought with him experience working in Customs and Excise as well as having been a reserve soldier in the Parachute Regiment.

Serving for 27 years across London BJ worked in a variety of roles. As a response officer and then on the Territorial Support Group in North London, where he gained his first promotion to Sergeant in 1996. He subsequently worked through the ranks to Area Commander for North West London in October 2014.

With a firm base in operational policing, he led the Tottenham High Road and the Broad water Farm Estate team. He then proceeded to become Chief Inspector in Operations at Paddington Green. He held responsibility for the Secure Counter Terrorist Custody suite, oversaw the implementation of Safer Neighbourhood Teams and oversaw the policing of Millwall Football Club whilst serving as Superintendent in charge of Crime and Operations in Lewisham. Finally, as the Borough Commander for Camden he was able to work closely with communities, policing a diverse and complex part of the capital.

From the onset BJ had an interest in the policing of public order and during his time at the Metropolitan Police Service, he gained the position of Commander Public Order for London. He led many high-profile policing operations at every rank including Notting Hill Carnival, large scale protests, football matches and crime operations. In the summer of 2012, BJ worked as one of the Silver Commanders for the London Olympics and was also one of the National Counter Terrorism Commanders.

Having been seconded as Deputy Chief Constable to Essex in 2017, BJ took over as Chief Constable on 4th October 2018. BJ leads one of the largest non-metropolitan forces with over five and a half thousand officers, staff, and volunteers, within a force that comprises of many diverse challenges for modern policing. These include an extensive coastline with the major seaside town of Southend on Sea as well as international maritime ports in Thurrock and Tendring as well and Britain’s fourth busiest international airport. There is the significant garrison town in Colchester, a vast rural community, and many urban areas. Combined with the intricacies of bordering London, performing the role of Chief Constable of Essex Police is a complex and challenging role.

BJ has utilised his experiences gained whilst serving in the Metropolitan Police Service to great effect and has worked tirelessly on building community confidence within Essex. He has also sought to strengthen and develop multi-agency partnerships across a range of issues seeking to help the community, keep them safe and of course, catch criminals.

Overseeing the vast growth in the number of officer’s, staff and volunteers serving the Essex Community in recent years he has also been pivotal in supporting the modernisation of the forces IT capability to ensure a force that is skilled, equipped and enabled for the 21st Century.

He continues to lead, endorse, and enhance the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Strategy within Essex Police, which is reflected in the widely accoladed “We Value Difference“ Recruitment Campaign and gained a positive peer review by the College of Policing. As the Chief Officer lead and ally for the LGBTQ+ forum he is able to further support inclusivity

Having built a strong and capable command team BJ has ensured Essex Police has been able to deal effectively with a number of significant events such as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the tragic death of 39 migrants in a container lorry in Essex. The latter resulting in conviction and imprisonment of seven people for a total of over 92 years.

As the Chair of the Local Resilience Forum BJ coordinates collaborative working within the emergency planning arena across Southend, Essex, and Thurrock. He is also the Police National Lead for Public Order and Public Safety (NPOPS) which has recently found him as a member of the panel for the Joint Committee of Human Rights. He is also the president of the Essex Police Choir, Band and Sports Association

BJ has a Post Graduate Diploma in Police Leadership from Leicester University is also a graduate the Cabinet Office Leaders UK senior public service leadership programme. He is married to a former officer and has two teenage daughters and an annoying spaniel.


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