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Lawrence Byford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lawrence Byford

Born(1925-08-10)10 August 1925
Normanton, Yorkshire, England
Died10 February 2018(2018-02-10) (aged 92)
OccupationPolice officer
OfficeChief Inspector of Constabulary
PredecessorJames Crane
SuccessorRichard Barratt

Sir Lawrence Byford CBE QPM DL (10 August 1925 – 10 February 2018) was Chief Inspector of Constabulary from 1983 to 1987.[1] His inquiry into the failings of the Yorkshire Ripper investigation by West Yorkshire Police earned him the description "the man who changed the face of modern policing" because it "led to fundamental changes in the way serial killer investigations would be carried out in future across the world".[2][3]

Early life

Byford was born the son of a coal miner in Normanton, West Yorkshire. He left school without any qualifications and became an apprentice electrician at a local pit. In 1944, Byford was conscripted and saw service during the latter months of World War II with the Royal Signals in France, Belgium and Germany.[2]


Byford's police career began in 1947 as a constable with the West Riding Constabulary, where he rose to be the Commander of the Huddersfield Division. He also graduated from the University of Leeds with a law degree in 1956.[2] He left in 1968 to join the senior leadership team of Lincolnshire Police, and was Chief Constable from 1973 to 1977. He was a Regional Inspector of Constabulary from 1978 until his appointment to the top job. In retirement he served as President of Yorkshire County Cricket Club from 1991 to 1999.[4][5]


He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 1973. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979, and was knighted in 1984.[6]

Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png
Queens Police Medal for Merit.png
Police Long Service and Good Conduct ribbon.png

Ribbon Description Notes
Knight Bachelor (Kt)
  • 1984
Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png
Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • 1979
  • Commander
  • Civil Division
Queens Police Medal for Merit.png
Queen's Police Medal (QPM)
  • 1973
Police Long Service and Good Conduct ribbon.png
Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

Personal life

In 1950 he married Muriel Campbell Massey: they had three children, one of whom was Deputy Director General of the British Broadcasting Corporation and head of BBC Journalism from 2004 to 2011.[7]

Later life

Byford was President of Yorkshire County Cricket Club from 1990 to 1999;[4] and a Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire from 1992.[8]


  1. ^ ‘BYFORD, Sir Lawrence’, Who's Who 2016, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2015 ; online edn, November 2015 accessed 14 May 2016
  2. ^ a b c Earnshaw, Tony (14 February 2018). "Tributes to Sir Lawrence Byford the man who changed the face of modern policing". Examiner Live. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Sir Lawrence Byford report into the police handling of the Yorkshire Ripper case". GOV.UK.
  4. ^ a b "The Yorkshire County Cricket Club Past Presidents - The Club". Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
  5. ^ "Chief Inspector of Constabulary who found glaring errors in the Yorkshire Ripper investigation" The Daily Telegraph Issue no 50,615 p 27 dated Tuesday 13 February 2018
  6. ^ "No. 49696". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 April 1984. p. 1.
  7. ^ Neil Midgley "BBC's Mark Byford made redundant", Daily Telegraph, 11 October 2010
  8. ^ "Sir Lawrence Byford, former HM Inspector of Constabulary".
Police appointments
Preceded by
James Crane
HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Richard Barrett

This page was last edited on 6 November 2020, at 10:48
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