Anne Owers

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Dame Anne Elizabeth Owers, DBE (née Spark; born 23 June 1947) was Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons. Owers was the fifth holder of the post, appointed in August 2001, succeeding David Ramsbotham. Her appointment was renewed in June 2006 and in March 2008.[2] She is currently chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Prior to this, she directed JUSTICE, the UK-based human rights and law reform organisation.[3]

Owers was educated at Washington Grammar School, County Durham, and studied history at Girton College, Cambridge. On graduating she went to Zambia to teach and to carry out research into African history. While taking time out to bring up her three children, Owers continued to undertake research and voluntary advice and race relations work.[4] She joined the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in 1981 as a research and development officer and was appointed its general secretary four years later.[5]

In June 2008, she was appointed Chairman of Christian Aid, succeeding John Gladwin.[6] She opposed the Government's former proposal to build "Titan jails".[7]

Owers was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000 for her work in human rights[8] and elevated to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[9][10]

In 2010, she was appointed to the position of Chairman of Clinks, a charity that supports the work of the voluntary and community sector working with offenders and their families. She is also a Trustee of The Butler Trust.[11]

She was appointed head of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in March 2012. In July 2012, she gave the 2012 John Harris Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Police Foundation.[12] Also in 2012, she was the winner of the Perrie Award.[13]


  1. ^ "Anne Owers". Desert Island Discs. 4 March 2011. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Community Care, June 2006 "Anne Owers appointment extended".[permanent dead link] She was succeeded by Nick Hardwick in 2010.
  3. ^ BBC News report, 1 August 2001: "Anne Owers: Campaigner turned prison watchdog",; accessdate 16 April 2014.
  4. ^ Times Online, 12 January 2008: "Anne Owers says new 'superjails' may not solve prisons crisis" by Helen Rumbelow and Alice Miles (with biographical notes).
  5. ^ "Dame Anne Owers' profile". Northumbria University. 27 February 2009. 
  6. ^ The Guardian, 25 June 2008, "Society Guardian" section p.10, Column c "Ins and Outs".
  7. ^ Report (30 January 2008) of BBC Radio interview on the Today programme with Anne Owers; accessed 16 April 2014.
  8. ^ Citation for appointment as pro chancellor of South Bank University in 2005; accessed 16 April 2014.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58929. p. 6. 31 December 2008.
  10. ^ The Guardian coverage of the 2009 New Year Honours, 31 December 2008; accessed 16 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Anne Owers is charity Clinks' new Chair". Clinks. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "John Harris Memorial Lecture". Police Foundation. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  13. ^ The Perrie Lectures

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
David Ramsbotham
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons
Succeeded by
Nick Hardwick