Find out about our Chief Officers.

BJ Harrington - Chief Constable

Ben-Julian - or ‘BJ’ - started his policing career when he joined the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 1990 as a police constable in the then Chingford and Walthamstow areas of North East London.

BJ moved then to the first of a number of postings to the Territorial Support Group (TSG), working at Caledonian Road and then North Finchley bases. In this role he developed his interest in public order and event policing, as well as gaining policing experience across London in both uniform and plain clothes.

On promotion to sergeant in 1996, BJ moved to Tottenham Division, firstly leading a uniform team and then specialising as neighbourhood team sergeant for Tottenham High Road and the Broadwater Farm Estate. Through this period he gained an important understanding of the critical role of community policing, both in building community confidence as well as fighting crime.

In 1999 BJ returned to the TSG at Finchley and, for the next four years, served across a range of duties, leading uniform and crime operations as well as being involved in significant and varied public order duties. Within this period he was promoted to inspector and ran one of the TSG units, finishing up as the acting chief inspector.

Following his stint with the TSG, BJ was promoted to chief inspector, taking up the operations role at Paddington Green within the City of Westminster. As well as leading response policing for this busy area of central London, he also had responsibility for the Secure Counter Terrorist Custody suite. BJ qualified as an advanced public order commander and was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Police Leadership from Leicester University during this period.

In 2006 BJ was promoted to superintendent and moved to Lewisham in South East London in the operations role. Here he led community and response policing and oversaw the implementation of Safer Neighborhood Teams as well as the policing of Millwall Football Club. He developed key multi-agency partnerships and joint tasking across a range of issues, including licensing, crime prevention and drug and alcohol intervention.

Whilst at Lewisham, BJ also took over leading the Criminal Investigation Department alongside his operations function. This provided him with valuable insight into more complex crime investigations and the opportunity to integrate these often separate areas of work. It was also during this period that he graduated as part of the Cabinet Office Leaders UK senior public service leadership programme.

Leaving Lewisham, BJ moved to become chief superintendent in charge of the Met’s three command and control centres, bringing about significant change and consolidation of new operating systems. He continued as a public order commander at events such as Notting Hill Carnival and, within this, led the MPS-wide review into stop and search.

In the summer of 2012, BJ worked as one of the Silver commanders for the London Olympics and, from there, was seconded to the MPS One Met Model change team. In this role, working to the Deputy Assistant Commissioner in Specialist Crime and Operations, he led the development and change of Pan London Policing operations and Specialist Crime.

In 2013, he was appointed the Borough Commander for Camden in North London, leading the policing of one of London’s busiest areas with a significant night-time economy and also a very diverse community. Within this role he supported the implementation of the first Safer Neighbourhood Board and the increase of Volunteer Policing Cadets from a handful to over 100 young people.

BJ completed the Strategic Command Course in 2014 and, in October 2014, was promoted to Area Commander for North London. In June 2015 he was given responsibility for public order and operations policing across London.

BJ arrived in Essex as the Temporary Deputy Chief Constable in March 2017 and, since his appointment, has assumed national policing portfolio responsibility for events policing and training, tactics and equipment.

Throughout his senior career, BJ has led some high-profile and sensitive operations, including Gold Commander for State visits, large-scale public disorder and ceremonial events. He maintains his role as Public Order Gold, Strategic Firearms and Counter Terrorism Commander.

BJ is married to a serving officer and has two daughters.

Pippa Mills - Deputy Chief Constable

Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills began her policing career in the Metropolitan Police Service in 1996. As a constable she was based in Westminster, both on response team and within the CID.
Following a 3-year career break, she was promoted to Sergeant in 2004 and worked on response team in Redbridge in East London. She was selected for the High Potential Development Scheme in 2006 and was promoted to Inspector in 2007, serving at both Hackney and Waltham Forest as Duty Officer and Prevent lead.
Following promotion to Chief Inspector at Hackney where she led the Operations portfolio and Criminal Justice, she became the staff officer to Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens, qualifying as an Advanced Public Order Commander during that time.
As a Superintendent she was part of the command teams for the Royal Wedding, Queens Diamond Jubilee and held the role of Bronze Reserves during the London Olympics. She also led the change team that designed the Metropolitan Police’s new operating model. She implemented this change in approach to Local Policing when she returned to Waltham Forest as the lead for Investigations and Neighbourhoods.
Promoted to Chief Superintendent in 2014, Pippa oversaw significant change within the Met’s Command and Control function, introducing new ways of working that improved the service offered to the public whilst realising significant efficiencies. She is a keen advocate of Lean methodology, utilising a Lean Startup approach to establish a Digital Contact Centre. Passionate about the development of others, Pippa has coached and mentored colleagues throughout her career.
Having completed the Strategic Command Course in 2017, Pippa returned briefly to the Metropolitan Police as a Temporary Commander responsible for Covert Policing and intelligence before joining Essex Police in May as the Assistant Chief Constable responsible for Operational Policing Command, Criminal Justice & Offender Management Command and the Force Control Room.
Pippa was born and bred in Essex and outside work enjoys spending time with her teenage sons, pursuing hobbies that include travel, baking, dog walking and going for long bike rides.

Andy Prophet - Assistant Chief Constable

Andy started his policing career in in 1996 at Thurrock spending 6 years as a shift constable at Corringham and Grays.
On promotion to sergeant Andy was posted to Southend spending time as a shift supervisor, a custody officer and then leading a pro-active team tackling local drug dealing, burglary and street robbery.
Between 2006 and 2011 Andy was firstly a Detective Inspector working on a divisional CID team before becoming District Commander for Rochford and then Southend leading local policing and partnership working. Andy also spent an interesting year as the Staff Officer to a previous Chief Constable.
On promotion to Superintendent in 2011, and then as Chief Superintendent in 2013, Andy was the Local Policing Commander for the South and then the West Local Policing Area. With the team he forged strong operational and data sharing links with three bordering Metropolitan Police boroughs tackling cross border criminality and built lasting relationships with local partners addressing community priorities.
Between 2014 and 2016 Andy led the Essex Police Strategic Change Team. He is also a senior firearms and public order commander with experience of leading the policing response at music festivals, protests and sporting events. 
In early 2017 Andy successfully completed the Strategic Command Course and was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing and Public Protection. 
Andy has a degree in Geography from Manchester University, where he split his time between study, recreation and watching his favourite team - Manchester United.
Andy is married to Andrea and has a 15 year old daughter (Olivia) and a 9 year old son (Ben). When he’s not performing his role as ‘taxi driver’ he enjoys playing cricket (increasingly poorly), reading and walking. 

Nick Downing - Assistant Chief Constable

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Downing joins Kent Police as Head of the Serious Crime Directorate for Kent Police and Essex Police.
ACC Downing has 28 years of extensive policing experience with the Metropolitan Police Service across a diverse variety of disciplines.  These included 2 years as Borough Commander on Hillingdon Borough and postings to the London Boroughs of Newham, Sutton, Southwark and Croydon. He spent 3 years working as part of the Territorial Support Group and 3 years at Heathrow Airport where he performed a number of roles.
ACC Downing spent 9 years as a detective in specialist and organised crime, he is a trained kidnap SIO and a former strategic firearms commander.
He formed a high level of expertise in targeting organised criminal networks and has used this operational background to pioneer a proactive prevention and disruption approach to policing.
His work has brought him into close contact with numerous other law enforcement agencies and private industry partners.
He utilised these experiences whilst heading the MPS Sterling economic crime prevention team and Amberhill false identity team, both of which sought innovative ways to prevent organized crime affecting the economy.
In January 2010, as a Detective Superintendent, ACC Downing was very proud to secure the role of heading Operation Podium, the specialist crime response to combat organised crime affecting the Olympic economy before moving on to become the Head of Metropolitan Police Criminal Finance Teams transforming the Met’s response to the proceeds of crime.
Prior to joining Kent and Essex, ACC Downing was a Temporary Commander for the West area of London. With leadership of over 5000 colleagues, 10 London boroughs and portfolio responsibility for protecting vulnerable people across territorial policing.
ACC Downing successfully completed  the Strategic Command Course in 2017 and joins us as  Head of the Serious Crime Directorate for Kent Police and Essex Police.

Mark Gilmartin - Director of Essex and Kent Support Services

An economics and politics graduate, Mark Gilmartin has a Masters Degree and has previously worked for the Post Office and as a researcher in local government. He is professionally qualified in project management, programme management and management of risk. In 2010 he became a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Mr Gilmartin was with Lancashire Police for more than 10 years, working in a variety of finance, IT and performance roles, before moving to the Audit Commission as a senior specialist on policing and criminal justice.

Joining Kent Police in October 2000, Mr Gilmartin was instrumental in preparing the force’s successful bid in response to the government’s 'Closing the Gap' proposals for police restructuring before joining Kent Police Authority as the Chief Executive, in April 2006.

He has been one of the key architects of the successful Kent and Essex collaboration programme which won a national value for money award in 2010.

Mr Gilmartin transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service as Director of Operational Resourcing where he had responsibility for a revenue budget in excess of £1.36 billion and more than 30,000 officers and staff.  

In February 2012 Mr Gilmartin took up his current post of Director of Kent and Essex Support Services and is responsible for Finance, HR, Transport, Property, Procurement and Business Service Centre across both forces.

Vicki Harrington - Director of Strategic Change and Performance

Dr Vicki Harrington joined Essex Police as Director of Strategic Change and Performance in March 2016.
She has worked in the private and public sectors and in a policing environment for more than fifteen years.
Working as a Principal Researcher in the Research, Development and Statistics Directorate of the Home Office, Vicki conducted and published primary research on crime and policing.  Vicki then joined Kent Police where she worked in a number of roles.
As Head of Corporate Development she acted as principal advisor to the Chief Officer team with responsibility for strategic planning and performance, research, analysis and consultation and inspection and governance. She was responsible for developing the Kent Crime and Victimisation Survey which was accredited by the Home Office and instrumental in the force’s successful bid to avoid merger with other forces.
After successfully completing the Strategic Command Course in 2011,  Vicki joined Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). She held several Programme Director roles during which time she conducted a national review of police collaboration and inspections of police authorities’ preparedness for the transition to Police and Crime Commissioners throughout England and Wales. Vicki also directed HMIC’s engagement and consultation strategy with newly elected local policing bodies.
Vicki was a principal architect of HMIC’s new approach to inspecting and assessing forces - the police, effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) assessment.  She had responsibility for developing and directing this new approach to the inspection and assessment of all police forces in England and Wales. This included managing the organisation wide change programme and stakeholder engagement and consultation.
Following successful publication of the first PEEL assessment in 2014, Vicki took up the role of Head of Research, Development and Business Improvement overseeing HMIC’s analytical function and the development of future PEEL assessments. She has led the design and implementation of HMIC’s single corporate inspection and assessment methodology for PEEL 2015/2016 and has responsibility for publication of an annual rounded assessment for each police force. 
Vicki has a first class honours degree in Geography and a PhD from Kent University. She is a qualified teacher and has experience of lecturing in higher education as well as teaching in schools. She has two grown-up children.

Richard Leicester - Director of Human Resources

Richard Leicester is the Chief Officer lead on the development and delivery of strategic human resources and learning and development across both Kent Police and Essex Police. Richard has overall strategic responsibility for:
  • the development and implementation of corporate people and learning strategies
  • the delivery of learning and development
  • recruitment and people resourcing
  • operational and strategic human resources delivery
  • occupational health services
  • talent management and people development
  • Performance Improvement Units
Richard successfully completed the Strategic Command Course (SCC) in 2018,  is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has substantial experience of leading both generalist and specialist human resource related functions.