|Sir John Hermon
|Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary|
|Preceded by||Sir Kenneth Newman|
|Succeeded by||Sir Hugh Annesley|
23 November 1928|
Castletown, Northern Ireland
|Died||6 November 2008
Bangor, Northern Ireland
|Spouse(s)||Jean Webb (1954-1986)
Sylvia Paisley (1988-2008)
John Hermon was born in Castletown, Islandmagee, County Antrim to William Rowan Hermon, a building contractor, and his wife, Agnes. He had a grammar school education and gave up an early career in accountancy to join the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1950. He was posted in various parts of western Northern Ireland, including Eglinton, Coalisland and Strabane before sitting his sergeant's examinations. He was the first RUC officer to attend the advanced policing course at the British police training college in Bramshill in England, before returning to Northern Ireland and a promotion in Belfast.
He married Jean Webb in 1954, and had a son and a daughter before she died of cancer in 1986. In 1987 he met Sylvia Paisley who had written an academic paper critical of Hermon's conduct in an employment case brought by female RUC officers. They married and had two sons.
When he became Chief Constable, he changed the interview processes of terrorist suspects at the Castlereagh interrogation centre. An anonymous former interrogator has claimed that "The new chief constable was completely against any mistreatment of prisoners whatsoever...we started to detect a change .... straight away." Hermon is thought to have believed that the allegations of mistreatment were harming relations between the RUC and the wider communities.
His wife, Lady Hermon, was from 2005 to 2010 the sole Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament. In 2010 she was re-elected as an independent, with an increased majority. She has held the North Down seat since 2001. In 1998, Hermon himself campaigned for a yes vote during the Belfast Agreement referendum.
Kenneth Leslie Newman
|Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary
- Obituary in The Telegraph
- Obituary, Sunday Independent, p. 35, 9 November 2008.
- Ian Cobain 'Inside Castlereagh: 'We got confessions by torture' (The Guardian, Monday, 11 October 2010)
- "MP Lady Sylvia Hermon quits Ulster Unionists". BBC News. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
- BBC News report of death
- "Farewell to Sir Jack Hermon". Belfast Telegraph. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2011.