Met Police comms chief a dead cert to leave for new job in horse racing

Martin Fewell, director of media and comms at the Metropolitan Police, is to leave his job in the autumn for a role at the governing body for British horse racing.

Martin Fewell will step down from his role as comms chief at the Met in the autumn
Martin Fewell will step down from his role as comms chief at the Met in the autumn

Fewell, who took up his role leading the Met’s media, internal comms and marketing team in September 2012, is to be the new comms and corporate affairs director at the British Horseracing Authority.

The outgoing director won recognition for his tenure heading up comms at the Met during a five-year period in which the UK’s largest police force invested in creating digital content and transformed its intranet into a means of sharing information, collaboration and innovation.

His achievements since 2012 include increasing the Met’s use of social media and growing its corporate Twitter account to more than one million followers, the largest emergency services account in the UK, as well as changing the way it responds to major incidents with a 'digital first' approach to inform the public, while retaining a 24/7 press bureau to respond to media enquiries.

The former deputy editor of Channel 4 News, also oversaw two series of the BBC documentary ‘The Met: Policing London’, allowing a level of access the police force had never previously granted.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who took up her job in February, heaped praise on the outgoing comms director.

She said: "I’ll be very sad to see Martin leave the Met, he’s done a wonderful job in the last five years leading our engagement with the media in all its forms, and playing an incredibly important role in ensuring the public have as much information as possible."

In the months after Fewell took up his role, the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report severely criticised South Yorkshire Police’s handling of the football ground disaster, the ‘Plebgate’ incident with Andrew Mitchell MP kicked off and the Met was tasked with reducing its overall budget by 20 per cent over three years.

All this against a backdrop of the Leveson Inquiry’s report, which criticised the police for its cosy relationship with a select band of journalists.

Dick continued: "It’s been a challenging time in the Met, but Martin has built and leaves a positive legacy - he led our move into the digital age and revolutionised how we communicate internally. He’s been a key member of the senior team and his advice, innovation and enthusiasm has been invaluable. It really is a sad loss, but I wish him all the best for this wonderful opportunity in a new world."

Fewell began his career at the BBC in local radio and held various positions including launch editor for BBC News 24 and deputy editor of the BBC Radio 4 bulletins, before spending 14 years at Channel 4 News, ten as deputy editor.

Fewell is to leave the police force in the early autumn and the Met said the recruitment process for his replacement would begin "in due course".

Commenting on his impending departure, Fewell said: "I’ll really miss the talent, commitment and skills of the communication team and my other colleagues in the Met. I’m delighted to see how strong our reputation is with the public, whilst recognising that’s largely down to the professionalism and bravery of our officers and staff. I’m looking forward to the new job - inspiring people to experience the joys of racing."


Click here to subscribe to the FREE public sector bulletin to receive dedicated public sector news, features and comment straight to your inbox.

If you wish to submit a news, comment, case study or analysis idea for the new public sector bulletin, please email Ian.Griggs@haymarket.com

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.