Michael J. Todd

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Michael James Todd

Chief Constable Michael J Todd.jpg
Born(1957-08-10)10 August 1957
Barking, Essex, England
Died11 March 2008(2008-03-11) (aged 50)
Bwlch Glas, Snowdon, Wales
OccupationChief Constable
EmployerGreater Manchester Police

Michael James Todd QPM (10 August 1957 – 11 March 2008[1]) was Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police from October 2002 until his death.

Early life and education[edit]

Todd grew up in Essex where he attended the Billericay School and later attended the University of Essex.[2] He graduated with a first class honours degree in government in 1989 and a master's degree in politics in 1994.[3][4] The university named him the alumnus of the year in 2003 for his contributions to policing and the community.[5]

Police career[edit]

Starting as a Police cadet Todd joined Essex Police in 1976.

After progressing through the ranks he attained the level of Inspector via a management exchange programme with the Metropolitan Police.[6]

In 1995 he was appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, initially managing support services and then operational policing.

He returned to the Metropolitan Police in 1998 when appointed Deputy Assistant Commissioner and in 2000 he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner. Throughout his tenure as Assistant Commissioner he was responsible for Territorial Policing covering all 32 London Boroughs. He oversaw the policing of several high profile public events, such as the Notting Hill Carnival, the Golden Jubilee celebrations and the anti-capitalist May Day protests, for which he received a Commissioner's Commendation from then Commissioner John Stevens.

In 2002, he was selected as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, overseeing a City then notable for its extensive gang-related gun crime and a force with a record of poor performance, inefficiency and mired in claims of institutional racism. By the time of his death he was viewed as instrumental in improving performance, helping to dispel Manchester's "Gunchester" image and restoring his forces's reputation within the local community.[7][6]

In 2006 he became a vice-president of ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers), a post he held until his death.[4][3]

Investigation of CIA extraordinary rendition flights[edit]

Todd investigated on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers the extraordinary rendition flights conducted by the CIA to transport detainees.[8]

Taser demonstration[edit]

Todd was a proponent of the use of the taser and advocated for the weapon to be more widely issued to front line Police Officers. In 2005, in order to demonstrate that the stun guns were safe and effective, he allowed himself to be tasered on camera. After recovering he said "I was completely incapacitated, and if I was carrying a weapon there was no way I could have done anything, as I just couldn't move. And yes, it hurt like hell and no, I wouldn't want to do it again. "[9] [10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Todd was married for more than 27 years and had three children; a daughter and twin boys. [12]

His social interests included mountain biking, computer gaming and reading, particularly military and political biographies.[3]


After Todd was reported missing by Greater Manchester Police, rescue teams from Llanberis, North Wales, started a search for him at 01:00 on 11 March 2008. After being alerted by hill walkers who found personal possessions, they found Todd's body in the Bwlch Glas area of Snowdon.[13] The post-mortem report initially found "no obvious cause" of death.[14]

The inquest into his death was opened and adjourned on 13 March 2008.

One month after his death a public memorial service was held for Todd at Manchester Cathedral. The service was relayed live on the BBC Big Screen Manchester and to the GMP Police training centre, Sedgley Park.[12][15]

On 6 October 2008, the coroner ruled that Todd had died from exposure, essentially freezing to death having been only lightly clothed on the slopes of Snowdon, and while "his state of mind was affected by alcohol, a drug and confusion due to his personal situation."[16][17]

Post-death Enquiry[edit]

Following Todd's death several allegations were made about both his personal and professional conduct. An enquiry undertaken by Paul Scott-Lee, then Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, found that while his lifestyle damaged the reputation of the Police Service it did not compromise the discharging of his duties as Chief Constable. He was also cleared of any inappropriate professional misconduct such as that relating to expenses, promotions and misuse of Police equipment.[18][19]


Queens Police Medal for Merit.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden 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)
  • 2001
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002
  • UK Version of this Medal
Police Long Service and Good Conduct ribbon.png Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal


  1. ^ Michael Todd: The Times obituary. The Times. London. 12 March 2008
  2. ^ "UPDATE: Tributes to Chief Constable". Retrieved 16 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b c "Profile: Mike Todd". BBC News. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  4. ^ a b Fahey, John (11 March 2008). "Michael Todd: profile". The Independent. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  5. ^ "University of Essex Alumni Website". Retrieved 15 March 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Michael Todd: Charismatic police chief". The Independent. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Mike Todd: A man with a vision to drive guns from Manchester's streets". The Independent. 18 August 2003. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Police deny 'extraordinary rendition' flights". Telegraph. 10 June 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  9. ^ Chief constable hit by Taser gun. BBC News. 5 July 2005.
  10. ^ Attewill, Fred (18 May 2007). "Manchester top cop liked Tasers so much, he took 50,000 volt shock". The Guardian.
  11. ^ News, Manchester Evening (17 May 2007). "Top cop tastes a Taser". men.
  12. ^ a b "Police chief's 'apology' to wife". BBC. 11 April 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Top UK police chief is found dead". BBC. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  14. ^ "No 'Obvious Cause' Of Top Cop's Death". Sky News. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Todd memorial service". MEN YouTube.
  16. ^ "Widow forgives dead police chief". BBC News. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  17. ^ "Last texts and tangled affairs of police chief". The Independent. 7 October 2008.
  18. ^ Keeling, Neal (20 April 2010). "Todd: The official verdict". men.
  19. ^ "Todd lifestyle 'damaged police'". 10 February 2009.

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
First incumbent
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Policy, Review and Standards)

Succeeded by
Tarique Ghaffur
Preceded by
Ian Johnston
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Territorial Policing)

Succeeded by
Tim Godwin
Preceded by
David Wilmott
Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police
Succeeded by
Peter Fahy