Bernard Hogan-Howe, from PC to knight

Bernard Hogan-Howe Sir Bernard used to be a traffic officer

A knighthood for Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe in the 2013 New Year Honours list is the culmination of a successful career.

He took over the Met in September 2011 after Sir Paul Stephenson quit the post amid criticism of the Met's role in the phone-hacking scandal.

A long time before becoming the UK's top police officer, Sir Bernard began his career with South Yorkshire Police in 1979.

Sheffield-born, he worked as a traffic officer, detective and eventually district commander.

By then he had already gained an MA in law from Oxford University and a diploma in applied criminology from Cambridge University.

In 1997, he moved to Merseyside Police and four years later joined the Met as an assistant commissioner, before returning to Liverpool in 2004.

A career on the up

1979: South Yorkshire Police

1997: Assistant chief constable, Merseyside

2001: Assistant commissioner, Metropolitan Police

2004: Chief constable, Merseyside

2009: HM Inspectorate of Constabulary

2011: Metropolitan Police Commissioner

2013: Knighted

Crime dropped significantly and the force claims anti-social behaviour rates were cut in half through a zero-tolerance approach.

He made headlines in 2006 for sprinting after a suspected drink-driver after spotting him from his chauffeur-driven car.

Sir Bernard was the man in charge in 2007 when 11-year-old Rhys Jones was shot dead as he walked home from football practice.

The killing horrified the nation and there was pressure from some of the media when there was no immediate arrest.

But Sean Mercer, 18, was jailed for life in December 2008 and several members of his gang were also locked up.

Sir Bernard also set up the specialist Matrix team to tackle gun crime - the first of its kind outside London.

The news of his knighthood comes just weeks after he returned temporarily from his Christmas break to deal with the Andrew Mitchell "plebgate" row.

He has called the allegations made against the police "extremely serious" and vowed to find out what really happened in the Downing Street incident that cost Mr Mitchell his cabinet post.

The then Tory chief whip Mr Mitchell denied accusations by the police that he had called officers "plebs" during an argument at the gates of Downing Street in September.

This month, a serving Met police constable was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and has been suspended from the force over allegedly giving a false account of the incident.

Speaking about the issue, Sir Bernard said: "For the avoidance of doubt, I am determined there will be a ruthless search for the truth - no matter where the truth takes us."

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