Richard Walton

Richard Walton
Richard Walton is a former head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command and an independent consultant. A former Commander at New Scotland Yard, Richard Walton was Head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) between 2011-2016 having spent the majority of his thirty-year policing career in the counter-terrorism field. Richard was Head of Counter Terrorism for London during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. He is currently Director of Counter Terrorism Global Ltd, a company that facilitates the design and implementation of solutions for countering terrorism and extremism to governments, private corporations and NGOs. He has travelled extensively to countries affected by terrorism, providing advice to governments in South and South-East Asia, the Middle East and East Africa. He lectures in the UK and is a regular key note speaker at international conferences on counter-terrorism and counter-extremism He is an on-air Counter Terrorism commentator for CBS News and regularly presents on British and international media networks. Richard is a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and a Distinguished Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). He holds a BSc Hons degree in Policing and Police Studies from Portsmouth University and a MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Related Publications

Daylight Robbery

Research by Policy Exchange finds that fraud and error during the COVID-19 crisis will cost the UK Government in the region of £4.6 billion. The lower bound for the cost of fraud in this crisis is £1.3 billion and the upper bound is £7.9 billion, in light of total projected expenditure of £154.3 billion by the Government (excluding additional expenditure announced in the 8th July 2020 Economic Update). The true value may be closer to the upper bound, due to the higher than usual levels of fraud that normally accompany disaster management.

Exiting Lockdown

The UK Government should extend its Five Pillar Testing Strategy to a Six Pillar Testing and Tracing Strategy by introducing digital contact tracing as a Sixth Pillar. A Testing and Tracing Strategy should bring together expertise from the Department of Health, NHSX, NHS Digital, Police, Military and the Intelligence Agencies, to create a new independent national 24/7 Testing and Tracing Command Centre.

Policing a pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic represents the biggest challenge to UK police since the Second World War, according to Richard Walton, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and former Head of Counter-Terrorism Command at the Metropolitan Police. The paper – Policing a pandemic, part of a new series from Policy Exchange examining the policy impact of the coronavirus pandemic – recognises that, in the words of the Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty, the response of the British public to disasters and emergencies tends to be “extraordinary outbreaks of altruism”. It also notes that some aspects of criminal behaviour are very likely to decrease during periods of social distancing, for example alcohol-related disorderly behaviour, including violence that can occur in and around bars, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants, reducing police demand for emergency response calls. But the paper warns of a minority who will exploit the pandemic for criminal purposes and sets out new challenges that are likely to be faced by the police.

Justice that protects

Prisons exist to keep the public safe yet in recent years the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service has shown that they are not capable of properly managing the most dangerous offenders. This paper, by Richard Walton – a former Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command – argues that it is time for the Home Secretary, and the Home Office, to supervise prisons as they did until 2007. The Ministry of Justice as it is currently configured should be abolished, with a new Lord Chancellor’s Department replacing it to work solely on courts and justice policy, at the same time enshrining in law and practice the independence of the judiciary.

Protest, Parliament and the rule of law

With the rhetoric inside the House of Commons ratcheted up to fever pitch this week, it is hardly surprising that protest outside Parliament became equally as chaotic and disruptive.

Rekindling British Policing

A 10-Point Plan for Revival

Extremism Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion has mainstreamed the politics of a radical fringe.

Islamophobia - Crippling Counter Terrorism

The impact on counter-terrorism policy and operations if the UK government adopts the definition of Islamophobia proposed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims.

Related Blogs

The Importance of Bilateral Collaboration in International Counter-Terrorism Investigations

Writing for Policy Exchange, Richard Walton -- former Head of the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command -- dissects recent statements that Brexit has left Britain more vulnerable to terrorism. Contrary to claims by his former colleague Sir Hugh Orde and the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Walton observes that international bodies such as Interpol and Europol are far less important to “upstream" international CT investigations than bilateral collaboration between nations. Walton's analysis for Policy exchange featured on the Today programme and in The Sun.

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