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Lord Imbert, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the longest serving patron of the Association of Security Consultants (ASC) and an editorial board member of Professional Security magazine, has died. He was 84. ASC chairman Joe Connell writes:
Lord Imbert CVO, QPM, DL, Baron of New Romney in the County of Kent – Peter Imbert – was born on April 27, 1933. He was a career police officer who spent a good proportion of his service in the Special Branch at Scotland Yard and Anti-Terrorist Branch. He was a key leader in these earlier experiences of terrorism including Provisional IRA, Baader Meinhoff and other international terrorist groups. He played a highly instrumental part in delivering a successful outcome to the Balcome Street Siege (IRA) in 1975. He went on to lead Thames Valley Police as Chief Constable from 1979 to 1985, and the Metropolitan Police as Commissioner from 1987 to 1993. Following a distinguished police career, he went on to become Lord Lieutenant of London (pictured), serving until 2008. He was appointed as life peer in 1999 and sat as a cross-bencher always with policing, security and social conditions at heart.
In 1990 he narrowly avoided a bomb planted in the lectern at an event that he, Foreign Office Minister William Waldegrave and notable counter terrorism academic Prof Paul Wilkinson were due to speak. In typical Peter Imbert style he found time just one year ago to attend the retirement function of the sound technician who discovered the bomb.
Many police, former police and associated professions will have no second thoughts in recalling Lord Peter Imbert as the best Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in living memory. His clear and unambiguous leadership style was matched only by his personal humility, which together engendered loyalty and trust among those he led and those he met. Clear thinking and insightful, he nevertheless always had a kind and amusing tale to share that left one feeling truly grateful for his acquaintance.
Supported unstintingly by his wife Iris and family, Lord Peter Imbert led a full and fruitful life which brought many benefits to others. The ASC Imbert Awards are a testament to the sincere and personal engagement of a great man who tirelessly acknowledged later generations by encouraging them to maintain, innovate and improve standards across the security sector. We are fortunate in the ASC to have enjoyed the leadership and friendship of such a great man. Our sincere condolences go to Lady Iris Imbert and family.