Keith Bristow

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Keith Bristow

Keith Bristow, Director, UK National Crime Agency (8446840209).jpg
Bristow at Chatham House in 2013
Director-General of the National Crime Agency
In office
October 2013 – January 2016
Appointed byTheresa May
DeputyPhil Gormley
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byLynne Owens
Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police
In office
Preceded byJohn Burbeck
Succeeded byAndy Parker
Personal details
Keith Bristow

1967 (age 51–52)
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
ProfessionPolice officer

Keith Bristow QPM served as the first Director-General of the National Crime Agency from 2011 to 2016.[1] He was formerly the Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police, and was appointed in October 2011 to oversee the creation of the NCA and, following its launch in 2013, led the organisation in its mission to cut serious and organised crime in the UK. Between 2011 and 2013, Bristow built and designed the agency, from concept to full operational crime-fighting, working closely with the Government, global partners and participating in the UK National Security Council.[2] He is currently Vice Chairman of Arcanum, a global strategic intelligence company and a subsidiary of Magellan Investment Holdings.[3] [4]

Early career[edit]

Bristow joined West Mercia Constabulary as a cadet and served in uniformed and Criminal Investigation Department roles. In 1997, as a Detective Chief Inspector, he was appointed staff officer to the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). In 1998 he was promoted Detective Superintendent and seconded to the West Midlands Police Major Investigation Team, later transferring to the force permanently, where he served as operations manager and director of intelligence. Promoted to Chief Superintendent, he commanded an operational command unit in Birmingham.

Chief officer[edit]

In 2002, he was promoted Assistant Chief Constable and became a director of the National Criminal Intelligence Service. In 2005, he was appointed Deputy Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police and in July 2006 became Chief Constable.[5]

He is also chair of the G8 Law Enforcement Group and from 2009 to 2011 was head of crime at ACPO, having previously been head of violence and public protection and of criminal use of firearms. He was the first British graduate of the European Top Senior Police Officer Course[5] and holds a master's degree in organisational development, a postgraduate diploma in management studies, and a diploma in applied criminology. As an influential voice on contemporary law enforcement issues, he has a substantial record of keynote addresses both domestically and internationally. Of special note, in 2012 Bristow delivered the annual James Smart lecture 'joined up public protection' and in 2014 the annual Police Foundation lecture 'policing with consent in the digital age'.[6]

In October 2011, Home Secretary Theresa May, announced that Bristow would head the new National Crime Agency; Bristow spent two years designing and building the agency, including merging multiple organisations. The agency began operations two years later in October 2013.[7]

In 2014 and 2015, he chaired the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (FELEG), a partnership between UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand which seeks to reduce the international threat and impact of organised crime.[8]

As of 2015, Bristow was paid a salary of £225,000 by the agency, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[9] On 26 November 2015, it was announced that he would be standing down in January 2016.[10] He was succeeded by Lynne Owens, the former Chief Constable of Surrey Police, on 4 January 2016.[11][12]

Bristow was awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.[13]


Queens Police Medal for Merit.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Police Long Service and Good Conduct ribbon.png

Ribbon Description Notes
Queens Police Medal for Merit.png Queen's Police Medal (QPM)
  • 2008
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002
  • UK Version of this Medal
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012
  • UK Version of this Medal
Police Long Service and Good Conduct ribbon.png Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal


  1. ^ "National Crime Agency - The Board".
  2. ^ "National Crime Agency — Thank you and farewell from Keith Bristow This is..."
  3. ^ "UNITED KINGDOM : Keith Bristow joins Arcanum - 20/01/2016 - Intelligence Online".
  4. ^ "Our Leadership Team".
  5. ^ a b Rotary International District 1060
  6. ^
  7. ^ "UK National Crime Agency head to be Keith Bristow". 10 October 2011 – via
  8. ^ "Keith Bristow joins Arcanum - Arcanum Global".
  9. ^ "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015 – GOV.UK". 17 December 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Seven crime chiefs quit 'Britain's FBI' as morale plummets".
  11. ^ "Surrey Chief Constable Lynne Owens to take over National Crime Agency". BBC News. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  12. ^ "National Crime Agency – The Board". National Crime Agency. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  13. ^ "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 26.


Police appointments
Preceded by
Deputy Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police
Succeeded by
Andy Parker
Preceded by
John Burbeck
Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police
Succeeded by
Andy Parker
New office Director of the National Crime Agency
Succeeded by
Lynne Owens