PSNI Chief Constable Sir Ronnie bows out

The man who has come to represent the public face of the police service, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, has officially retired as the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland’s new police service.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, 50, has been a police officer for three decades - effectively the lifespan of the present conflict in Northern Ireland.

His retirement, which took effect on Sunday March 31st 2002, sees the end of Sir Ronnie’s reign at the helm of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland, formerly known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary after six years.

The last Chief Constable of the old RUC, and the first police chief of the new PSNI, Sir Ronnie was due to retire at the end of February. However the Policing Board asked him to remain as Chief Constable of Police Service of Northern Ireland until the end of March. His deputy Colin Cramphorn has now taken over the hot seat until a successor is found.

Sir Ronnie will now take on his new role as one of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary where he will inspect police forces across the UK.

The Chairman of the Policing Board Professor Des Rea paid tribute to Sir Ronnie for his contribution to policing in Northern Ireland at a meeting of the Policing Board last week.

Mr Rea said: “I wish to put on record my appreciation for the exemplary professionalism Sir Ronnie has shown over the past 32 years. His contribution to the RUC and his management of the policing change process has provided a firm foundation for the new Police Service of Northern Ireland to build upon.

“Sir Ronnie was instrumental in completing the fundamental review into policing back in 1995 which recommended significant policing changes, many of which were incorporated into the Patten report. His strategic vision and willingness to meet the changes required have undoubtedly allowed the Service to move to this new beginning for policing.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish Sir Ronnie well in his new post and have no doubt that his experience and commitment will be invaluable to the work of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary.”


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 September 2019
Teen Charged In Connection With Belfast Disorder
A 15-year-old boy has been charged with possessing a blade or point in a public place in connection with disorder in Belfast. The boy is due to appear at the Belfast Youth Court next month on Friday 11 October.
13 September 2001
New police force is on course towards equal representation
The Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary Sir Ronnie Flanagan has revealed that more than a quarter of applicants qualified to join the Northern Ireland Police Service are Catholic.
10 September 2019
Images Released Of New IRA Bomb In L'Derry
Images of the bomb left in a residential street in L'Derry in an attempt to murder police officers have been released by police. The improvised explosive device can be seen in a parked car in close proximity to houses and a pavement. Police said the bomb would have killed or maimed anyone nearby had it detonated.
27 March 2002
Row erupts over Garda Commissioner's visit to passing out parade
The departure of Sir Ronnie Flanagan as head of the PSNI seems destined to be marred by political controversy, and this time the presence of the Gardai Commissioner at a PSNI passing out parade has caused offence.
19 February 2002
Sir Ronnie Flanagan appointed Inspector of Constabulary
Sir Ronnie Flanagan will vacate the Chief Constable's hot seat in favour of taking up a new post with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. As Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Ronnie will now inspect a number of UK police forces including its largest – the Metropolitan Police.