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Judith Kyle Gillespie, CBE is a retired senior police officer. She was the Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, between June 2009 and March 2014.

Early life[edit]

Gillespie was born and raised in North Belfast.[1] She completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in public policy and administration. She went on to study for a Masters degree in applied criminology at the University of Cambridge.[1]

Police career[edit]

Gillespie began her policing career when she joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1982 as a police constable.[2] She had previously been rejected by the RUC because of her gender.[3]

In 2003, she attended the Strategic Command Course at the Police Staff College, Bramshill.[4] In 2004, she was appointed assistant chief constable.[5] This made her the first female to reach chief officer rank in the Police Service of Northern Ireland.[4][2] In June 2009, she was promoted to deputy chief constable, becoming the second most senior police officer in Northern Ireland.[5] She served as acting chief constable from August 2009 to September 2009.[6] In March 2011, she was given the opportunity to retire early with a £500,000 severance package but choose to continue her career.[3]

A keen sports woman, she played hockey and squash for the RUC.[7] In 2013, when the World Police and Fire Games was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she served as the Chair of the Board.[8][9]

She retired from the police on 31 March 2014.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Gillespie is married and has two daughters.[10]

She took up running after the death of the sister-in-law from cancer. She has completed the Belfast Marathon relay, Race for Life and the Great North Run, raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.[7]


Gillespie was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours for public service,[11] and promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to policing and the community in Northern Ireland.[12] In July 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Queen's University Belfast.[6]


  1. ^ a b Young, David (13 March 2014). "I'm leaving PSNI on my own terms, insists Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Judith Gillespie, NI's most senior policewoman, to retire". BBC News. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Young, David (13 March 2014). "Judith Gillespie: I'll sue over vile online sex slurs says Northern Ireland's most senior woman police officer". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "First female PSNI Assistant Chief Constable appointed". Northern Ireland News. 4NI. 18 May 2004. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Deputy chief constable Judith Gillespie to retire". Belfast Telegraph. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie OBE". Police Service of Northern Ireland. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Bell, Stephanie (23 May 2014). "Judith Gillespie: The ex-cop and sports boss on the run with Mary". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "WPFG 'best and friendliest ever', says president of games". BBC News. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Board of Directors". 2013 WPFG. World Police & Fire Games. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Beattie, Jilly (20 May 2004). "I went from the Shopping Squad to Super Nintendo to first female Assistant Chief Constable; JUDITH'S HISTORIC RISE TO TOP PSNI POST.". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59090. pp. 9–10. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 07 March 2014.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b9. 14 June 2014.
Police appointments
Preceded by
Paul Leighton
Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland
2009 to 2014

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