Nick Alston

Chair, Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER) Advisory Board

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences

Location: Chelmsford, Cambridge

Research Supervision:Yes

Nick Alston joined the University as Chair of PIER having served as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex. His role is to help establish PIER as the academic and research partner of choice for the police forces in Eastern Region of England.

Twitter: @NickAlston_CM1
[email protected]


Nick Alston has a long background in defence, security and policing. After graduating from Cambridge University he was commissioned into the Royal Navy where he joined the staff of the Royal Naval Engineering College as a lecturer in Materials Science. From there he worked for a further 29 years in the United Kingdom defence arena before joining Goldman Sachs where he became a Managing Director and co-head of its worldwide corporate security office.

In 2012 Nick was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex. He was responsible among other things for the Police and Crime Plan and for police funding as well as holding the Chief Constable to account for effective and efficient policing. He has a particular interest in encouraging partnership working between public sector agencies and involving the voluntary and third sectors.

Nick was appointed CBE in the 1997 New Year’s Honours list.


  • 1974 BA then MA in Natural Science. Cambridge University (Queens’ College).

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Non-Executive Director Mid Essex Hospitals (NHS) Trust Board
  • Advisor to the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science at University College London
  • 2013-2016 Chair of the Board of the National Policing ICT Company
  • 2014-2015 Chair of the Board of the National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners
  • 2014-2016 Chair of the Essex Strategic Domestic Abuse Board
  • 2011-2012 Strategic Adviser to Digital Barriers plc.

Recent presentations and conferences

  • ‘Policing in Essex: the Way Ahead and the Role of Police and Crime Commissioners’. Public lecture at Anglia Ruskin University March 2016
  • ‘What is the point of Police and Crime Commissioners?’ Public lecture at Essex University November 2015

Media experience

Nick Alston has been a regular commentator on policing and crime issues for local, regional and national radio and television.