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Mike Cunningham to stand down from College of Policing

The College of Policing has begun its search for a new chief executive after Mike Cunningham announced he is standing down.

Mr Cunningham said he intends to retire from policing at the end of the year after leading the College since 2018.

He has had a pivotal role in working with the Home Office, National Police Chiefs’ Council, Police Federation and Police and Crime Commissioners to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The College took the lead in drawing up the guidance for the rapidly introduced lockdown legislation.

Mr Cunningham was also responsible for moving promotion exams online for the first time after the March assessments were cancelled because of movement restrictions.

He has also been the lead for developing the new police degree and overhauling online learning resources provided by the College.

Before joining the College he was previously Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police and he began his policing career at Lancashire Constabulary, which he joined in 1987.

In 2013, he was awarded a Queen's Police Medal in the New Year's Honours list and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University.

Nationally, he was chair of the ACPO Counter Corruption Advisory Group, a lead for Professional Standards, and lead of the National Policing Workforce Development Business Area.

During his service with Lancashire Constabulary, he was known for his commitment to diversity and took on the role of national policing lead for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues.

Prior to his appointment to the College, he was HM Inspector of Constabulary and HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services, where he had been in post since September 2014.

Christine Elliott, Chair of the College of Policing Board, said: "Mike has contributed an enormous amount to policing over his career and I am very grateful for all of his work at the College. I know that he continues to be fully focused on delivering for policing and cementing changes within the College over the coming months.

"In the last year, Mike has provided great impetus to the College's priority areas of diversity, digital and leadership. Our drive to deliver tangible help to officers and staff in these areas will continue at pace.”

Announcing his reitrement Mr Cunningham said: "I am extremely proud of what colleagues in the College have achieved over the last few years and what will be delivered over the rest of 2020. While I look forward to spending more time with my family next year, for now my focus remains on delivering support to policing and embedding changes across the College to best prepare us for the future."

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