Find out about our Chief Officers.

Brought up in North London and educated at Saint Ignatius College in Enfield, Ben-Julian - or ‘BJ’, started policing when he joined the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 1990 as a Police Constable in the then Chingford and Walthamstow Division of North East London. He brought with him experience working in Customs and Excise as well as having been a reserve soldier in the Parachute Regiment.

Serving for 27 years across London BJ worked in a variety of roles. As a response officer and then on the Territorial Support Group in North London, where he gained his first promotion to Sergeant in 1996. He subsequently worked through the ranks to Area Commander for North West London in October 2014.

With a firm base in operational policing, he led the Tottenham High Road and the Broad water Farm Estate team. He then proceeded to become Chief Inspector in Operations at Paddington Green. He held responsibility for the Secure Counter Terrorist Custody suite, oversaw the implementation of Safer Neighbourhood Teams and oversaw the policing of Millwall Football Club whilst serving as Superintendent in charge of Crime and Operations in Lewisham. Finally, as the Borough Commander for Camden he was able to work closely with communities, policing a diverse and complex part of the capital.

From the onset BJ had an interest in the policing of public order and during his time at the Metropolitan Police Service, he gained the position of Commander Public Order for London. He led many high-profile policing operations at every rank including Notting Hill Carnival, large scale protests, football matches and crime operations. In the summer of 2012, BJ worked as one of the Silver Commanders for the London Olympics and was also one of the National Counter Terrorism Commanders.

Having been seconded as Deputy Chief Constable to Essex in 2017, BJ took over as Chief Constable on 4th October 2018. BJ leads one of the largest non-metropolitan forces with over five and a half thousand officers, staff, and volunteers, within a force that comprises of many diverse challenges for modern policing. These include an extensive coastline with the major seaside town of Southend on Sea as well as international maritime ports in Thurrock and Tendring as well and Britain’s fourth busiest international airport. There is the significant garrison town in Colchester, a vast rural community, and many urban areas. Combined with the intricacies of bordering London, performing the role of Chief Constable of Essex Police is a complex and challenging role.

BJ has utilised his experiences gained whilst serving in the Metropolitan Police Service to great effect and has worked tirelessly on building community confidence within Essex. He has also sought to strengthen and develop multi-agency partnerships across a range of issues seeking to help the community, keep them safe and of course, catch criminals.

Overseeing the vast growth in the number of officer’s, staff and volunteers serving the Essex Community in recent years he has also been pivotal in supporting the modernisation of the forces IT capability to ensure a force that is skilled, equipped and enabled for the 21st Century.

He continues to lead, endorse, and enhance the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Strategy within Essex Police, which is reflected in the widely accoladed “We Value Difference“ Recruitment Campaign and gained a positive peer review by the College of Policing. As the Chief Officer lead and ally for the LGBTQ+ forum he is able to further support inclusivity

Having built a strong and capable command team BJ has ensured Essex Police has been able to deal effectively with a number of significant events such as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the tragic death of 39 migrants in a container lorry in Essex. The latter resulting in conviction and imprisonment of seven people for a total of over 92 years.

As the Chair of the Local Resilience Forum BJ coordinates collaborative working within the emergency planning arena across Southend, Essex, and Thurrock. He is also the Police National Lead for Public Order and Public Safety (NPOPS) which has recently found him as a member of the panel for the Joint Committee of Human Rights. He is also the president of the Essex Police Choir, Band and Sports Association

BJ has a Post Graduate Diploma in Police Leadership from Leicester University is also a graduate the Cabinet Office Leaders UK senior public service leadership programme. He is married to a former officer and has two teenage daughters and an annoying spaniel.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet started his policing career in 1996 at Thurrock, where he spent six years on the beat as a Police Constable in Corringham and Grays.

Following a promotion to Sergeant, he moved to Southend, where he undertook the roles of shift supervisor, custody officer and then led a proactive team to tackle local drug dealing, burglary, and street crime in the district.

Andy’s policing journey in the south of the county continued and, after a successful five years as a Detective Inspector on CID, he became a District Commander for the first time. After overseeing policing in Rochford, he headed back to Southend to do the same.

He has since served as Local Policing Commander for the south of the county, and for west Essex. During his time in the west of the county, he forged strong links with three bordering Metropolitan Police Service boroughs to tackle criminals travelling from London into Essex and vice versa.

In early 2017 Andy was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing and Public Protection.

In early 2020, he took on responsibility for the Operational Policing Command and Contact Management, leading on everything from the county’s Marine Unit to the Force Control Room. During this time, Andy has been the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for the policing response to anti-social behaviour, street homelessness and e-scooters.

Andy took on the role of Deputy Chief Constable in September 2021.

Outside work, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, playing cricket (by his own admission, increasingly poorly), cheering on Manchester United, and herding his three mad cats. His most important – and frequent – role is that of ‘Dad taxi’.

Rachel joined Essex Police in 1998 where she worked at Canvey Island and Rayleigh, before becoming a Sergeant there working at Benfleet and Rochford.  She then spent a year as part of the neighbourhood policing project team, delivering a different approach to policing local communities. Rachel has mainly worked on uniform based roles since.  In 2006 she was supported by local Rotary Clubs to spend time in South Africa and Lesotho learning about cultural differences and diversity in policing.

Rachel was promoted to Inspector in 2006 as the Staff officer to the Chief Constable and was then Inspector at Tilbury in 2007.

In late 2008 Rachel was promoted to Chief Inspector and spent six very enjoyable years at that rank taking up roles as District Commander at Thurrock, Basildon and lead for Roads Policing and the Dog section.    

As Criminal Justice Command Superintendent between 2014 to 2016, Rachel developed wider partnership working and change management skills.

In 2016 Rachel was promoted to Operational Policing Command as Chief Superintendent where she led various high-profile operations, including the first visit of the US President to the UK.  During this period Rachel helped to develop the Seven Force firearms training collaboration and led regional Roads Policing coordination as well as UAV training and operational initiatives with Essex Fire and Rescue.

Between September 2018 and January 2020 Rachel was seconded to the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC) where she coordinated the operational policing response to Brexit preparations on behalf of NPCC leads, as well as developing the role of NPoCC to better support UK policing.

Rachel completed the Strategic Command Course in 2020, passing with distinction, before being successful in her application as Assistant Chief Constable (Local Policing and Crime & Public Protection) in April 2020. She currently has responsibility for Local Policing, Special Constabulary and our Local Policing Support Unit.

Rachel is a Gold Commander for public order and CBRN and is a strategic firearms commander.

Rachel has a BA (Hons) degree in English, Physical Education and Sports Science from Loughborough University.

In her spare time Rachel and her husband Paul, (a firearms instructor, also in Essex Police) are refurbishing their “dusty old farmhouse” and she also enjoy walking holidays, reading and improving her skiing.  Rachel has run the London Marathon four times and is keen on all types of sport.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Kevin Baldwin began his policing career in the Metropolitan Police Service in 1992.

Posted to Redbridge as a Constable for 6 years during which he became a trainee investigator before qualifying as an accredited Detective Constable in 1998 and moving to Hackney/Stoke Newington CID and then to the SCD Murder Teams. In 2002 he was promoted to Detective Sergeant and served at Bethnal Green on the Robbery Squad, CID and then as Proactive T/DI where he was later substantively promoted. Kevin then moved to SCD Child Abuse Investigation Teams as Detective Inspector for Hackney and Tower Hamlets Boroughs for 3 years before being promoted to Detective Chief Inspector and moving to Newham Borough in 2010 in charge of proactive CID. Kevin was the lead for the first ever Gangs Unit in the MPS, a role he revisited later in his career when he joined Trident as DCI qualifying as an SIO.

During this time he also became one of the first Met Detectives to qualify as a Public Order Commander using those skills as Match Commander and Public Order Commander for four seasons at West Ham United as well as policing public order events in London.

Kevin then worked across North East London leading a review team to improve performance before moving to Waltham Forest as Head of Crime before moving to the Trident Gangs Command as DCI for North East London responsible for the investigation of firearm offences and serious gang violence.

Born and bred in Essex it was fitting that in 2016 Kevin transferred to Essex Police on promotion as a Detective Superintendent on the South LPA. This was followed by a role as Head of Contact Management before moving back to the South LPA on promotion as Chief Superintendent LPA Commander.

In Jan 2020 Kevin moved to Crime and Public Protection as Detective Chief Superintendent before taking up the Temporary ACC role for Crime/Public Protection and Criminal Justice in June 2020. Kevin is a career Detective and is leading the Force response to Detective Development and Support. He is a Gold Commander and SFC.

Tracey is an accredited and experienced strategic firearms commander, gold public order commander, accredited senior investigating officer and authorising officer.

Tracey is the Assistant Chief Constable in command of the Kent Police and Essex Police Serious Crime Directorate. Before this she was divisional commander for West Essex, a local policing area encompassing Thurrock, Epping Forest, Brentwood and Harlow, policing urban areas bordering London as well as the rural areas of Epping Forest.

Tracey has led complex and large-scale investigations including child and stranger homicides, complex child abuse investigations and dismantling organised criminal networks.  She has been the force lead for serious violence, directing the knife crime and serious violence response following Home Office funding. She has been the investigative lead for high profile visits to the region, such as that of the President of the United States to Stansted and was silver commander for the first 72 hours of the investigation into the deaths of 39 Vietnamese nationals in Thurrock.

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.

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 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.