Simon Ovens, the borough’s new commander, started in Harrow last week. We’ve asked Harrow Police for a biography, but that hasn’t been forthcoming yet.
So, what does the internet know about our new Chief Superintendent?
Simon’s police career in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) began in 1987 at the age of 19 and by 1994 he was an inspector commanding a team of thirty police officers and responsible for the day to day policing of an area of South London. He took over the MPS response to the proposals on stop and search contained within The Stephen Lawrence Report. This involved work up and down the country.
As Superintendent Simon has had responsibility for Borough and Partnership Policing, Youth Justice Policy, Crime Prevention Policy, Crime and Disorder Partnerships, Business Partnerships and various other issues. In April 2006 he became OCU Commander of the Royal Parks Operational Command Unit, with extra responsibility for central London ceremonial events, concerts and other public order issues.
Simon was awarded a Testimonial on Parchment from the Royal Humane Society in January 1999 for saving the life of a man who was trying to throw himself from a bridge. He was commended for bravery in disarming a man with a knife in December 1998 and again for leadership and managerial ability in January 2002 and for leadership in 2004 – indeed Simon has developed a keen interest in the operation of leadership and makes leadership development amongst his staff the focus of his day to day work. In February 2002 he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
He is the proud father of two children, Edward (19) and Alice (15) and lives in Wimbledon. He has two main hobbies outside work – genealogy and medal collecting. So far as genealogy is concerned he has managed to trace back his ancestry hundreds of years and can tell a few hair-raising stories about what his ancestors have been up to in the past, some of them wholly unsuitable for the relations of a police officer. Ask him about the bishop and the haymaking machine!
Some highlights over the last few years (with sources):
- 2007 – Wrote the report ‘Policing the Royal Parks‘
- 2009 – Trustee of The Metropolitan and City Police Orphans Fund.
- March 2010 – As Chair of The Dangerous Dogs Advisory Steering Group in Wandsworth, worked to craft the draft Dog Control Bill.
- June 2010 - As Chair of the MPS Historical Society, features in police internal magazine, The Job, when he unearths a plaque containing the names of 29 Westminster-based ofﬁcers who died during the Blitz.
- November 2010 - Following a borough wide briefing, from his Belgravia Police Station, Supt Ovens forgot to turn off the camera. An easy mistake to make, especially when “…a pretty woman suddenly appeared on the screen and gave him a kiss and warm embrace.” The story continues, “A police source said: ‘Nobody could quite believe the governor not only forgot to turn the screen off, but kissed a woman on screen.’” More details here.
- December 2010 – Write an article about Met bravery during the Blitz in The Job.
- April 2011 – As head of the Royal Parks Police, he was promoted to Chief Superintendent, at which point the budget was cut by 23% over five years.
- August 2011 - Posted to Westminster, and was responsible for the security at Westminster Abbey during Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in April.
- March 2012 - Revitalises 19th century laws to deal with dangerous rickshaws in London’s west end.
- April 2012 – Leaves Westminster. When his replacement was announced, Westminster City Council’s community protection chief Councillor Nickie Aiken said: “I don’t think it’s a secret to those in this chamber that I have had my issues with some senior members of our local Westminster command but that seems to have been resolved recently and I look forward to meeting our new chief superintendent.”
- February 2013 - Announced as new Borough Commander for Harrow.
- April 2013 – Takes up post as Borough Commander for Harrow.
His LinkedIn profile can be found here.