Martyn Underhill

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Martyn Underhill
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner
Assumed office
15 November 2012
Personal details
BornGrantham, Lincolnshire
Political partyIndependent

Martyn Underhill is a British politician (who won the election claiming to be independent [1] but has since called himself a Politician) and former police officer. He was a Detective Chief Inspector in Sussex Police,[2] who retired in 2009 after 30 years of service. He joined the Metropolitan Police in 1979, transferring to Sussex Police in 1984. He was a Constable in the Metropolitan Police during the existence of the Special Demonstrations Squad [1968 - 2008] [3]

Police career[edit]

In July 2000, he was the Detective Inspector on Highdown Division who dealt with the disappearance of missing child Sarah Payne, who went missing in Littlehampton on the evening of 1 July.[4] Detective Inspector Underhill was appointed as the Deputy SIO (Senior Investigating Officer) of the enquiry, which became a murder investigation after a body was found near Pulborough on 17 July and identified as that of Sarah Payne the following day. Underhill remained on the investigation until Roy Whiting[5] was convicted of Sarah Payne's murder in December 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment. This alert system is based on Megan's Law[6] in America. Underhill later took this to the Association of Chief Officers (ACPO) Homicide Working Group to ask for the pilot to be introduced nationally, which was achieved by 2006.[7] Underhill was also an adviser [for one day] in the case of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, who were abducted and murdered.[8] He then moved to the Training Department in Sussex Police, having qualified as a police trainer, assessor and verifier. On retirement he moved to Dorset.[9] Underhill went on to campaign for safeguarding issues, including Sarah's Law, which was introduced into Dorset in October 2011.[9] Underhill became the Laymember on his Local Safeguarding Children's Board,[10] as well as becoming a trustee for the Bournefree charity.[11] He is a visiting lecturer at Bournemouth University for the School of Applied Science.[12] In July 2011, Underhill reported to Operation Weeting that he thought his police phone had been hacked during the Sarah Payne murdercase.[13]

Police and Crime Commissioner[edit]

In February 2012, Underhill declared himself as an Independent candidate for the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner role.[14] In April 2012, Underhill launched his electoral campaign as Keep Politics out of Policing and won the election, becoming Dorset's first ever PCC.[15]

In 2013, as Dorset PCC, Underhill was one of three PCC's nominated by their peers to review the role and remit of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. The other PCC's who worked with him were Jane Kennedy and Mathew Ellis. The trio commissioned General Jackson to review the organisation. His review[16] recommended substantial changes, including the transition to a new organisation called the National Police Chiefs Council. The trio formed the "ACPO Transition Board" to achieve the changes[17] working with senior officers from ACPO, the Home Office, MOPAC and the College of Policing. The PCC's appointed Sir Bill Jeffrey as Chair of the Transition Board. This led to the creation of the National Police Chiefs Council formally in April 2015. The first ever Chair[18] was Sara Thornton.

In 2014, Underhill became the first PCC nationally to formally commission the charity Victim Support to provide victim services in his area.[19]

In July 2015, Underhill announced that he would stand as a candidate in the following year's police and crime commissioner elections.[20] His election manifesto was announced on 30 March 2016.[21]

On 6 May, Underhill was re-elected as police and crime commissioner. He received 38% of the first preference votes, and was elected after the second preference votes were counted, when no candidates received more than 50% of first preference votes.[22] The election turnout was 23% and the votes he received represents less than 9% of the population of Dorset.[23]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "How They Caught... The Black Widow". BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Sapsted, David (14 July 2000). "Police fear Sarah may be dead as search goes on". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Whiting guilty of Sarah murder". BBC. 12 December 2001. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  6. ^ "UK | UK Politics | Minister examines 'Megan's Law'". BBC News. 18 June 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Child Rescue Alert scheme launched". The Courier. 5 July 2010. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Sarah police aid hunt for girls (From The Argus)". 7 August 2002. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Sarah Payne case cop backs paedophile law for Dorset (From Dorset Echo)". 10 March 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  10. ^ "SARAH'S LAW: Detective says single mothers most vulnerable from predatory paedophiles (From Bournemouth Echo)". 19 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  11. ^ "Bourne Free – Bournemouth's Pride Festival". Archived from the original on 8 August 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Science & Technology Investigator – June 2011". Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  13. ^ "BBC News – Former police officer in Payne case alleges hacking". 29 July 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  14. ^ "Keep politics out of policing says former detective chief inspector Martyn Underhill (From Bournemouth Echo)". 4 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  15. ^ "Dorset PCC: Sarah Payne detective Martyn Underhill wins". BBC News. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Acpo overhaul needed, says general's report for PCCs". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  17. ^ "Implementation board launched in wake of Parker Review of ACPO - The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners". The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  18. ^ "Sara Thornton to lead National Police Chiefs' Council". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  19. ^ "PCC Martyn Underhill takes control of Victim Support services". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  20. ^ "Dorset's PCC to stand for re-election next year". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  21. ^ "Martyn Underhill: "I'd resist any attempt to give all police firearms"". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  22. ^ "Dorset PCC election: Martyn Underhill secures second term". BBC News. 6 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Police commissioner secures second term". BBC News. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2018-06-12.

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