Barbara Wilding

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Chief Constable

Barbara Wilding
OccupationChief Constable (Retired)
EmployerSouth Wales Police
PredecessorSir Anthony Burden
SuccessorPeter Vaughan

Barbara Wilding, CBE, QPM is the former Chief Constable of South Wales Police, the first woman to hold the post.

Wilding began her career as a cadet in Jersey Police[1] in 1967 and was appointed constable in 1970. The following year she transferred to the Metropolitan Police where she served as an operational detective at New Scotland Yard. Wilding was involved in the identification of victims from the sinking of the pleasure cruiser Marchioness on the River Thames in 1989.

She became an Assistant Chief Constable in Kent Constabulary in 1994. In 1998, she returned to the Metropolitan Police as Deputy Assistant Commissioner, and served as Director of Strategic Resources and also Specialist Operations, where she commanded the Security and Protection Directorate which included protection of Ministers, Royal Family, Special Branch, Heathrow Airport, covert intelligence and the specialist firearms unit.

Wilding was appointed Chief Constable of South Wales Police on 1 January 2004. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2006 Birthday Honours.

She retired at the end of December 2009 as Britain's longest-serving female chief constable[2] and was succeeded by Peter Vaughan. In 2011 she was appointed High Sheriff of Mid Glamorgan.

Wilding is married and has two daughters, one of whom is a constable in South Wales Police.[1] She read criminology at the London School of Economics.[3][4]


Police appointments
Preceded by
Chief Constable of South Wales Police
2004 - 2009
Succeeded by
Peter Vaughan

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