David Michael was born in Dominica in the West Indies and came to live in the United Kingdom at the age of 11. On his 19th birthday, he became the first black police officer in Lewisham. There he worked on a new approach to crime reduction based on surveillance and strategic action. He went on to become a Detective Constable at Notting Hill and a uniformed sergeant in Peckham. His later postings included a period with CIB2, a unit investigating complaints against police officers, and an attachment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before being stationed at Southwark as a uniformed inspector.
He graduated in Law from the University of Westminster in 1993, following studies as a mature student in evening classes. He juggled his academic work with professional duties on a number of high-profile murder cases and equally distressing involvement as part of the Newham Child Protection Team. He was later moved back to Southwark as a Detective Inspector.
David Michael has been a long-term member of the Metropolitan Police’s Black Police Association executive committee. He was its first Deputy General Secretary and its Chairman from 1995 to 1997 and 1999 to 2001. He has also served on the National Communication Network of Black Police Associations.
Since his retirement from the police force in 2002, Michael, 53, has become very politically active. Joining the Labour Party in 2004, he became an ethnic minority officer both on the executive committee and the general committee in Lewisham. On top of that, he is the chair of his branch in Catford South.
Michael also spends much of his time doing community, voluntary and charitable work. He is chair of the Lewisham Community Police Consultative Group and is an appointed advisor for the Mayor of Lewisham and Lewisham Council on Community Cohesion and Community Relations.
Describing why he chose to follow a political path, Michael says: “I chose to get involved in politics for one of the same reasons why I joined the police service – because I want to encourage and see more members of the community engaged and aware of civic engagement, and for them to have a greater understanding of what civic engagement is and how it impacts on families and community cohesion.”
He has received numerous accolades for the work he has done. He is a scholarship patron at the University of Westminster, where he also received an honorary doctorate for his services to the police and community.
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