Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 17:44 UK

Who could be the head of the Met?

Sir Ian Blair has resigned as the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and will leave his post on 1 December.

Leading the Met is no ordinary law enforcement job. So who are the shortlisted candidates to fill the role?

SIR PAUL STEPHENSON

Sir Ian Blair's deputy at the Metropolitan Police took over as acting head and is on the final shortlist of candidates going before the Home Secretary.

Paul Stephenson

Sir Paul began his career with Lancashire Constabulary in 1975 and, after becoming a superintendent, spent time with the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

In 1994 he was appointed assistant chief constable of Merseyside and then deputy chief constable of Lancashire five years later.

That appointment led him to take the constabulary's top job in July 2002.

Three years later he moved to the Met, where he became Sir Ian Blair's successor as deputy commissioner.

His responsibilities include strategy, modernisation and performance.

Sir Paul was awarded the Queen's Policing Medal in 2000.

SIR HUGH ORDE

Sir Hugh is another Metropolitan Police high-flyer - and one of the most politically astute chief officers in the country.

Hugh Orde
In 2002 he was made chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) - one of the most politically-charged jobs in the UK.

It was his task to oversee the massive scale of reforms to the former Royal Ulster Constabulary in an effort to win Catholic and nationalist support - a critical plank of Northern Ireland's peace process.

Before taking up the role, he was responsible for running the day-to-day operations of a hugely controversial probe into allegations of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and security forces.

Sir Hugh's experience at the Met includes managing major crimes, working closely on the fallout of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.

He was awarded an OBE in 2001 and knighted in 2005.

BERNARD HOGAN-HOWE

The current chief constable of Merseyside Police is another career high-flyer with a masters degree in law from Oxford.

Bernard Hogan-Howe

Mr Hogan-Howe joined South Yorkshire Police in 1979 after beginning his working life in the health service. After a string of promotions, he went on to implement a "comprehensive reorganisation" of the force.

During his time at the force he was responsible for policing the 1980s miners' strike, one of the most challenging issues for police-community relations at the time.

In 1997 he moved to Merseyside as an assistant chief constable and commanded major public events including the Grand National at Aintree racecourse and the Open Golf Tournament.

In 2001 he moved to the Met as an assistant commissioner and oversaw a 20% expansion in its numbers - bringing the force up to its record high of 30,000 officers.

Three years later he was rewarded with the top job in Merseyside and took with him many of the police modernisation and technology strategies that he had been developing in the capital.

SIR PAUL SCOTT-LEE

Sir Paul is the only candidate on the shortlist not to have served in the Metropolitan Police.

Sir Paul Scott_lee

Born in 1953 and educated in Coventry, he joined the then Warwickshire and Coventry Constabulary which became part of West Midlands Police in 1974.

He rose to chief inspector rank before joining Northamptonshire Police as a superintendant.

In 1992 he was appointed assistant chief constable for Kent with responsibility for personnel and training.

He was promoted to deputy chief constable of Suffolk in 1994 and took the top job there four years later.

Sir Paul returned to the West Midlands as chief constable in 2002. He was knighted in the Queen's 2007 birthday honours.

Married with no children, Sir Paul enjoys golf and fly-fishing.



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