Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is a non-executive, voluntary Board whose remit is to offer strategic level support to the Director of PIER.

PIER Advisory Board Members

Advisory Board Chair, Nick Alston

Nick Alston

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.

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PIER Director, Prof Samantha Lundrigan

Samantha Lundrigan

Professor Sam Lundrigan joined Anglia Ruskin in January 2009 from the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University. Until 2005, she was employed as a lecturer at the Institute of Criminology at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. There she taught both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in criminology and forensic psychology.

As well as teaching, Sam has also conducted a range of research projects into geographic profiling systems, the spatial behaviour of serial rapists and the behavioural consistency of serial offenders. She has worked closely with police and provided offender and geographic profiles on a series of serious crime investigations. She also provided regular training to police officers in the area of environmental criminology and investigative psychology.

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PIER Chair, Simon Bailey

Simon Bailey retired in June 2021 after 35 years' service as a police officer, the last eight as the Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary. He was the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for child protection and oversaw the service response to violence and public protection.

As Child Protection Lead, Simon led Operation Hydrant, the national coordination centre for the non-recent sexual abuse of children in institutions and at the hands of persons in position of public prominence. He also led the service response to the threat of online harms and under his leadership UK policing has been recognised and acknowledged as the best in the world at targeting offenders.

Since retiring Simon has been building a portfolio of appointments focused on tackling, exploitation, abuse and vulnerability including the Chair of the Policing Institute for the East Region and Director of Strategic Engagement with the Child Rescue Coalition.

Simon was awarded the Queens Police Medal in 2016 and was made a Deputy Lieutenant in Norfolk in 2021. He has Masters degree from Cambridge University and an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of Bedford.

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Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan

Rachel Nolan

Rachel joined Essex Police in 1998 where she worked at Canvey Island and Rayleigh, before becoming a Sergeant there working at Benfleet and Rochford. She then spent a year as part of the neighbourhood policing project team, delivering a different approach to policing local communities. Rachel has mainly worked on uniform based roles since. Rachel was promoted to Inspector in 2006 as the Staff officer to the Chief Constable and was then Inspector at Tilbury in 2007.

In late 2008 Rachel was promoted to Chief Inspector and spent six very enjoyable years at that rank taking up roles as District Commander at Thurrock, Basildon and lead for Roads Policing and the Dog section. Between 2014 to 2016 she was Criminal Justice Command Superintendent and developed wider partnership working and change management skills. In 2016 Rachel was promoted to Chief Superintendent where she led various high-profile operations, including the first visit of the US President to the UK. Between September 2018 and January 2020 Rachel was seconded to the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC) where she coordinated the operational policing response to Brexit preparations on behalf of NPCC leads.

Rachel became Assistant Chief Constable (Local Policing and Crime & Special Constabulary) in April 2020.

Rachel has a BA (Hons) degree in English, Physical Education and Sports Science from Loughborough University.

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Prof Kate Bowers

Kate Bowers

Kate Bowers is a Professor in Crime Science with the Department of Security and Crime Science at University College London. She has worked in the field of crime science for over 20 years and has published 100 papers, books and book chapters in environmental criminology and crime science.

Her most recent research has focused on developing advanced methods for crime analysis and prediction, improving the evidence base for crime prevention and using innovative data sets to answer crime and security questions.

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Dr David Ho

Dr David Ho is a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, and Head of Research and Innovation at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. He has provided expert witness medico legal evidence in high profile criminal cases, including offences of homicide, serious sexual assault, and complex fraud.

Dr Ho is also well published in the field of forensic psychiatry and sexual offending, and has appeared on popular media including BBC and ITV television, and various radio station broadcasts.

Nerys Thomas

Nerys Thomas

Nerys Thomas is Knowledge, Research and Practice Lead at the College of Policing, helping the service to identify, share and use evidence about what works. She has been working in policing and criminal justice research for 23 years and prior to joining the College, held various roles in the Home Office, the Office for Criminal Justice Reform and the National Policing Improvement Agency.

She has carried out and published research on a wide range of issues including police demand, vehicle crime, police investigations, use of forensics and intelligence. She has been seconded to a government-led criminal justice reform project focusing on the Human Rights Act and was a member of the first Home Office task force sent to Macedonia in 1999 to co-ordinate the evacuation of refugees from Kosovo.

Before joining the Home Office, Nerys completed a Master of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Wales, Cardiff.

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Prof Matt Fossey

Matt Fossey

Matt Fossey has researched and written widely on health and veterans issues. He has a background in national health policy and service delivery. He is particularly interested in demonstrating research impact.

Matt studied Social Work at the University of Birmingham and worked as a Mental Health Approved Social Worker for seven years. He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex, assisting in the delivery of their MSW programme.

In 2004 he joined the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMHE) and was a member of the national service improvement team. He moved to the Department of Health where he was the Deputy Director of the flagship Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, helping to convert an idea into a £1/2 billion nationally delivered service.

He has extensive expertise in the UK voluntary sector, including working with the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness as National Stakeholder Manager on the national anti-stigma campaign "Time to Change". He has also held a number of local and national trustee appointments including The Ripple Pond and Healthwatch Essex (Vice Chair).

Matt is a member of a number of national and international working groups on military and veteran related matters. He was a team member of the NATO research group exploring military to civilian transition and is currently co-chair of the NATO military sexual violence research panel. Matt is also a member of the international ministerial working group considering wellbeing in the military and veterans communities.

Matt has written widely including publications on veterans' health and wellbeing, mental health and liaison psychiatry, including a number of key publications with economist Michael Parsonage.

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Hacer Evans

Hacer Evans

Hacer joined Accenture UKI as a Managing Director in September 2021. She is the Client Account Lead for HMRC and Gender Lead for Technology UKI. Prior to this, she spent 27 years working in the public sector.

Hacer started her career in the field of Forensic Science at Thames Valley Police. In 2001, she transferred to British Transport Police and held various leadership positions as Head of Forensic Science and Head of Profession for Justice and Forensic Science. Whilst in this role, Hacer successfully delivered the National CCTV Strategic Alignment Programme across BTP and Network Rail, London Underground and 14 Train Operating Companies for the London 2012 Olympics.

Hacer transferred to Sussex Police in 2015 as Assistant Chief Officer, taking up the national digital policing role. As Director of the Digital Policing Portfolio, she was responsible for developing and delivering digitally enabled transformation to National Policing across four major programmes of work: Digital Public Contact, enhancing the way the public and police communicate with each other; Digital Investigations and Intelligence, using technology to modernise UK policing’s digital intelligence and investigation capabilities; Digital First, integrating digitised policing into wider Criminal Justice System reform; and Digital Mobility, seeking to maximise the opportunities mobile technology can deliver across the policing landscape.

In 2020, Hacer joined NHS Digital as the Director of Screening Technology, where she was responsible for the operational management of four national screening technology services and was also the designated Programme Director for the circa £200m GMPP Digital Transformation of Screening programme, delivering against the ambition and approach of the NHS Long term plan for IT systems supporting screening programmes in England.

During this time, she was also responsible for Mass Flu Vaccination programme and mobilised the National Booking Service for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Hacer is a graduate of the Cabinet Office, Major Projects Leadership Academy at Oxford University, and a high-risk reviewer for Cabinet Office IPA.

Hacer is passionate about gender equality in technology and is an ambassador and advocate for STEM, investing time in making young women aware of the opportunities available to them.

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