Keith was appointed as the first Director General and Chair of the Board of the National Crime Agency, the body charged with leading the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime. Between 2011 and 2016, he led the agency from concept to full operational crime- fighting, working closely with Government, global partners and participating in the UK National Security Council.He commenced his law enforcement career as a police cadet with West Mercia Constabulary, progressing to the rank of Detective Chief Inspector, before being appointed as Staff Officer to the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in 1997. The following year he was promoted to Detective Superintendent and transferred to the Major Investigation Team at West Midlands Police. He went on to lead an operational command unit in inner-city Birmingham and was appointed Director of Intelligence.
In 2002, Keith was appointed as the UK Director of the National Criminal Intelligence Service with responsibility for tackling serious organised crime by providing intelligence to national and international law enforcement partners. In 2006 he was appointed as Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police and led a ground breaking transformation of the Force, ultimately leading to a full strategic alliance with West Mercia Police.
2009 witnessed Keith selected by ACPO to become Head of Crime, having previously held the portfolios of ‘Violence and Public Protection’ and the ‘Criminal Use of Firearms’. He chaired the G8 (now G7) Law Enforcement Group for eight years, improving international co-ordination and co-operation. In 2014 and 2015, he chaired the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group, a partnership between UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand which seeks to reduce the international threat and impact of organised crime.
Keith graduated from the European Top Senior Police Officer Programme and holds a Masters Degree in Organisational Development, a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Diploma in Applied Criminology from the University of Cambridge. As an influential voice on contemporary law enforcement issues, he has a substantial record of keynote addresses both domestically and internationally. Of special note, in 2012 Keith delivered the annual James Smart lecture ‘joined up public protection’ and in 2014 the annual Police Foundation lecture ‘policing with consent in the digital age’.
Keith has been commended on several occasions for bravery, leadership and investigative skill, and has received a number of professional awards including most recently the FBI Director’s Medallion. In June 2008 Her Majesty the Queen honoured Keith with the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished police service in her Birthday Honours List.