Stephen Watson has served in the police service for more than 28 years since joining Lancashire Constabulary in 1988.
He went on to join Merseyside Police in December 2006 on promotion to Chief Superintendent, where he initially headed up the force's Strategic Development department. He subsequently served for 3 years as area commander for Liverpool North.
In 2011, he was appointed to the Metropolitan Police as Commander for the East Area, with responsibility for all aspects of operational policing across nine London boroughs. This dynamic and diverse area is home to over 2.3 million Londoners and he held command of 6,250 police officers and staff with a total operating budget of £325 million.
As a senior member of the 2012 Olympic Command Team, he was awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation in recognition of his role, which involved the planning and delivery of all territorial policing across London throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
He also assumed the lead for the MPS in delivering the legacy from the 2012 Games in the Olympic boroughs and regularly performed Gold Command roles in a number of high-profile critical incidents, including a fatal helicopter crash in central London.
In June 2015 Stephen returned to the north of England, having been appointed Deputy Chief Constable for Durham Constabulary, and in July 2016 Stephen took up his appointment as Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police.
On behalf of the NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council) he holds the national lead for Crime Prevention and is the chair of the National Counter Corruption Advisory Group.
Stephen’s formal management qualifications include a Master's Degree in Business Administration.