Image of the Liverpool Cathedral

Sir Jon Murphy

Oration

Presented by: Roy Morris

Honourable Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting Sir Jon Murphy for the award of an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.  

This is a truly civic university, firmly rooted in this extraordinary city, and its defining ethos comprises three deceptively simple yet very powerful words: Dream. Plan. Achieve.  

Each year at Graduation, the University's highest honour - an Honorary Fellowship - is bestowed on a select band of individuals outside the University, in recognition of their outstanding achievement in a given field or profession, and who personify and inspire others to 'dream, plan, and achieve.'  

No-one personifies this ethos more perfectly than Sir Jon Murphy who we present today for an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his exceptional services to policing and community relations. Sir Jon a truly inspiring leader of a police force that works for the good of the communities it serves and who has personally ensured that his officers work in a partnership with city organisations so that we all learn from our collective understanding of what is really needed from a modern police force.  

Liverpool born and bred, the son of a Merseyside policeman, next January, Jon celebrates 40 years on the force. He joined Merseyside Police as a Cadet in January 1975 and after early uniform roles in Toxteth and the city centre, he spent three years in the force support group, during which time he was on the front line of the 1981 Toxteth riots. 

Shortly after the riots he entered the CID as an aide and there followed an almost 20 year unbroken career as a detective, rising to the rank of Detective Superintendent SIO. He then returned to uniform duties as Force Operations Manager prior to attending the Strategic Command Course.      

In 2001 Jon left Merseyside to join the National Crime Squad as Assistant Chief Constable, Head of Operations where he was responsible for national and international operations and led, for the UK, in the establishment of the first European Joint Investigation Team. He returned to Merseyside Police in 2004 as Deputy Chief Constable. 

In September 2007 he was asked by the then Home Secretary to lead the Ministerial Task Force - 'Tackling Gangs Action Programme' and in April 2008, he became the ACPO National Serious and Organised Crime Coordinator where, following a paper he completed for the Police Minister 'The Level 2 Gap - an alternative narrative' he led on a programme to deliver on work commissioned by the newly established National Organised Crime Partnership Board.  

In February 2010 Sir Jon took on the role of Chief Constable of Merseyside Police.  

Sir Jon has been a career detective serving as an investigator in every rank. He is an experienced Senior Investigating Officer, having led homicide investigations, corruption enquiries and covert operations. He read Law at the University of Liverpool and has a postgraduate Criminology Diploma from Cambridge. 

In 1995 he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and worked in the USA with the FBI on covert operations.   Sir Jon has been commended on 14 occasions. He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the 2007 Birthday Honours. In 2013 he was voted Merseyside Public Sector Leader of the Year and he was knighted in the Queens Birthday Honours List in June 2014. 

Sir Jon is respected by all ranks and seen as a true leader in the city. 

He is a great Liverpool character and shares the wit and spirit of his fellow Liverpudlians - proud of his city and the part that his force plays in making Liverpool one of the safest city's in the UK. He is a strong believer in developing a sense of ambition in young people, particularly those from deprived communities and he has worked hard to ensure that all of his officers know that the safety of the public and the reputation of the Merseyside police are in their hands.  

Jon has certainly proved to be a tremendous role model for his force and for new generations of students looking to join the force. His day job is demanding enough but he is happy to put himself in front of the public and only this week delivered his second Chief Constable lecture here at the University.

And at the lecture, asked by a student about the job and the difficulties of leading a police force in these times of public and government scrutiny, cutbacks and ever present danger, Jon was clear, he said: "Yes it is a challenge I love this job, I have enjoyed every single day since I joined the police force and I consider it a privilege to be a Chief Constable, particularly in this city."

It would be difficult to imagine a more appropriate recipient for this award today and I am delighted that his family are here to share this occasion, his sister Ruth, his son Jack and of course, Lady Murphy who in her role as Director of School, has the pleasure of reading the names of the graduates this morning.  

Thus, Chancellor, it is with great personal pleasure that I present Sir Jon Murphy, this most distinguished son of our city, for admission to our highest honour, as an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.