Philip Knights, Baron Knights

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For the musical group, see The Barron Knights.
The Right Honourable
The Lord Knights
Born Philip Douglas Knights
(1920-10-03)3 October 1920
Died 11 December 2014(2014-12-11) (aged 94)
Nationality British
Education East Grinstead Co School, King's School
Alma mater Police Staff College Grantham
Occupation Chief constable
Employer West Midlands Police
Spouse(s) Jean Knights (deceased)

Philip Douglas Knights, Baron Knights, Kt, CBE, QPM, DL (3 October 1920 – 11 December 2014) was a British police officer.[1]

Knights was educated in Grantham. He joined the Lincolnshire Police as a cadet in 1938, becoming a constable in 1940. In the war, he served in the RAF from 1943 to 1945. He returned to Lincolnshire, reaching the rank of chief superintendent in 1957. He moved to the Birmingham City Police in 1959 as an assistant chief constable. He became deputy chief constable in 1970. In 1972 he moved to Sheffield and Rotherham Constabulary as chief constable. In 1974, it became the South Yorkshire Police. From 1975-1985 he was chief constable of the West Midlands Police. In 1983 he was criticised for not disciplining West Midlands Special Branch officers who investigated the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament activist Madeline Haigh.

Awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 1964,[2] Knights was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1971,[3] was promoted to a Commander (CBE) in 1976[4] and knighted in 1980.[5][6][7][8][9] He was Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands in 1985[10] and was created a life peer on 22 July 1987 as Baron Knights, of Edgbaston in the County of West Midlands.[11] He sat as a crossbencher in the House of Lords until his death in 2014.

He was vice president of the Warwickshire County Cricket Club, the Birmingham County Scout Council and the Birmingham Federation of Clubs for Young People.[10]


  1. ^ "Lord Knights, the architect of West Midlands Police, dies at 94". West Midlands Police. 12 December 2014. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43343. p. 4969. 13 June 1964.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45384. p. 5967. 12 June 1971.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46919. p. 8023. 12 June 1976.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 48160. p. 5815. 18 April 1980.
  6. ^ "MPs, Lords and offices - UK Parliament". 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  7. ^ "Mr Philip Knights (Hansard)". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  8. ^ "Honorary graduates of Aston University". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  9. ^ "Political Biographies, Constituency & MP Profiles, News, Online Bookshop". DodOnline. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  10. ^ a b "Lord Knights". UK Parliament. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 51008. p. 9527. 27 July 1987.

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
Derrick Capper
Chief Constable of the West Midlands
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Dear