THE DEATH OF DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
(August 31, 1997 — Paris, France)
(Headed Operation Paget)
The Official Story
(Headed Operation Paget, the Metropolitan Police Inquiry into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales)
John Arthur Stevens, Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, KStJ, QPM, DL, FRSA (born 21 October 1942) was Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (head of the Metropolitan Police Service) from 2000 until 2005. From 1991 to 1996, he was Chief Constable of Northumbria Police before being appointed one of HM Inspectors of Constabulary in September 1996. He was then appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Met in 1998 until his promotion to Commissioner in 2000. He was a writer for the News of the World, for £7,000 an article, until his resignation as the hacking scandal progressed.
He sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.
Stevens was educated at St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate, the University of Leicester where he took an LL.B and the University of Southampton, where he did his MPhil. Before becoming Chief Constable of Northumbria, he served as Assistant Chief Constable of the Hampshire Constabulary (1986–88) and Deputy Chief Constable of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary (1988–91).
He presided over an external police inquiry into allegations in Northern Ireland of collusion between the British Army, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and loyalist terrorists in the murders of Irish nationalists. Stevens’s third report, published on 17 April 2003, upheld the claim and explicitly said that collusion leading to the murder of nationalists (and some unionists wrongly thought to be Catholic or nationalist) had taken place. In the aftermath of the report, David Trimble, then-leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, called for a parliamentary inquiry into the collusion, while the leaders of the SDLP and Sinn Féin called for a full public inquiry. A subsequent government ordered review by Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, announced in December 2012, confirmed the findings of the Stevens 1, 2 and 3 Inquiries regarding collusion between loyalist paramilitary groups and British intelligence in killings in Northern Ireland, which resulted in 97 convictions, and a large number of recommendations, which were accepted.
After his retirement as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, on 6 April 2005 he was created a life peer as Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, of Kirkwhelpington in the County of Northumberland. He headed a Metropolitan Police inquiry, Operation Paget, into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997, which reported its findings in 2006.