Ian Oliver

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Ian Oliver

Chief Constable of Central Scotland Police
In office
Preceded byEdward Frizzell
Succeeded byWilliam Wilson
Chief Constable of Grampian Police
In office
Preceded byAlistair G. Lynn
Succeeded byAndrew G. Brown
Personal details
Ian Oliver
Spouse(s)Elsie Oliver
RelationsJoanna Gosling (daughter-in-law)
ChildrenGuy Oliver
Craig Oliver
Stephanie Oliver
ProfessionPolice officer, author, speaker, security consultant

Ian Oliver, QPM, is a former police officer, author, speaker and international consultant for the United Nations. He served as Chief Constable of Scotland's Central and Grampian Police. Since leaving the police force, he has worked as a consultant and speaker on the issues of drugs, terrorism and trafficking. He is a published author, a board member of the International Scientific & Medical Advisory Forum on Drug Abuse, an appointed life member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and an elected Member of the Institute of Global Drug Policy. Oliver is the father of Craig Oliver, the final special adviser to David Cameron's government.


After training as a company secretary, Oliver served as an officer with the Royal Air Force between 1959 and 1961. After leaving the Air Force he joined London's Metropolitan Police Service as a constable, working his way up to the rank of Superintendent. He moved to Northumbria Police as a Chief Superintendent in 1977, then later became the force's Assistant Chief Constable.[1] In 1979 he was appointed as Chief Constable of Central Scotland Police,[2] a job he held for eleven years until moving to the neighbouring Grampian force. Part of his remit at Central covered the Grangemouth Oil Refinery.[1] He was Chief Constable of Grampian Police from 1990 to 1998.[3] During his time in Scotland he was twice elected as President of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, as well as International Vice President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He was also awarded the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Police Service.[1]

In 1998 he took early retirement after a tabloid newspaper published details of his private life, and a report by the Grampian Police Board heavily criticised the force's handling of the investigation into the 1997 murder of Scott Simpson,[4][5] a nine-year-old boy who was murdered by a convicted child sex offender near his Aberdeen home.[6] Since leaving the police Oliver has worked as an international consultant for the United Nations and Europe from 1998, a visiting lecturer at the University of Teesside (1999–2003), a drug training consultant to Aberdeen College of Further Education since 2005 and as consultant for Decision Strategies plc from 2003 to 2005.[1] In 2009 he was appointed as the head of justice and security in Afghanistan's Helmand Province,[7] where he worked closely with the Afghan National Police in a bid to reform the police and justice system of the area.[6]

Personal life[edit]

His son, Craig Oliver, is a former BBC News executive who was appointed as David Cameron's special adviser in February 2011, following the resignation of Andy Coulson.[8]

Bibliography and publications[edit]

  • The Metropolitan Police Approach to the Prosecution of Juvenile Offenders: Peel Press (1978)
  • Police, Government and Accountability: Macmillan (1987, reprinted 1996)
  • Weekly column for the Press and Journal (2001 – present)


  1. ^ a b c d "Dr. Ian Oliver profile". The Gordon Poole Agency. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Chief Constables: Past and Present". Central Scotland Police. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Former Chief Constables of Grampian". Grampian Police. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Controversial police boss quits". BBC News. BBC. 24 April 1998. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  5. ^ Smoth, Graeme (12 February 1998). "Scandal that ended a distinguished career Outspoken chief constable had clashed with councillors a number of times". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b Christie, Stephen (30 March 2009). "Ex-police chief finds a new beat". The Press and Journal. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  7. ^ Harris, Gillian (5 April 2009). "Afghan police reform will take decades". Times Online. News International. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  8. ^ Barnes, Eddie (5 February 2011). "Who is Craig Oliver and how will the Scot fare as David Cameron's new communications director?". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 July 2011.