Hulbert has had a somewhat varied career; this is just a synopsis
Born in 1943, in Kent England because an Austrian gentleman was bombing the regal borough of Peckham, London; having realised that all the best people came from south of the river.
He started his working life as kangoo hammer wielder in a concrete factory, then an artic-lorry driver, a junior design draughtsman, junior research engineer at the Expanded Metal foundry where he was kept awake at night by the explosions of voiding of Bessemer furnaces in Outer British West Hartlepool's. Later he became an apprentice mechanical engineer, part time rally driver and Formula II stock car driver.
After that he rather
perversely joined the UK Police, a career decision which has always
puzzled him. He initially joined the Surrey Constabulary, though because of the proclivities of London villains at that time this meant spending a lot of time in the Metropolis.
Due to an affair of the heart (which has endured to this day) he transferred after two years to that, at the time, sovereign police force, the Plymouth City Police. Not before receiving a Chief Constable's commendation as an outstanding probationary constable. He had one of the highest arrest rates in the Surrey Constabulary, which probably indicates that he was always a nasty bastard at heart.
In the various constabularies he undertook
duties as a beat bobby, a beat motorcyclist (that's a 24/7
commitment to sitting on a hot machine in snow, rain and tempest
to dangerously chase lunatics), he was one of the first intelligence
collators, an assault squad detective (that's simple thuggery
through sexual assault, buggery with children (we had not
invented pedophilia at that time), bestiality, rape and murder).
He passed the national police examinations in a top small group in
the UK and was awarded attendance at the Police Staff College,
Bramshill on the 6th Special Course for a year (an accelerated
promotion route). This course was seated at Bramshill House
in Hampshire England a property built by Lord Zouche around
1605. In these castellated grounds and paneled walls he acquired
a taste for Baronial grandeur which has never quite left him,
despite subsequent pecuniary reverses.
to reality, the local hierarchy, who were bemused by the novelty of advancement on merit rather than longevity, decided to approach such modernity by testing to destruction. This is a technique which has a venerable industrial and chivalric heritage in the United Kingdom. He was
posted first as a beat police sergeant, and then rapidly as
a station sergeant, a sink or swim posting. It was one of
the toughest, but greatest jobs in the world if supported by
the hierarchy, which despite their initial opposition, it was. This was in the then amalgamated but unbowed
Plymouth City Police. Later he toiled through the ranks as
a sub divisional inspector , police court prosecutor (when
such animals were allowed), explosives inspector, firearms
squad leader, police federation representative, he even collected the part time responsibility of a disease of animals inspector, although as a thoroughly urban/city policeman it is doubtful if he fulfilled that post well. Later he became a Chief Inspector, Superintendent and undertook a whole
host of other roles in local, national and international fora.
a seriously anti-establishment attitude he somehow rose to
the rank of Chief Superintendent designing and implementing
many of the early Police IT systems in the 70's and 80's.
In fact for a few months he was even an Acting unpaid Assistant
Chief Constable (ACC) but that was an aberration that the
police force quickly rectified. At various periods he undertook
commissions or was seconded for several years to the US National
Institute of Justice (where he ran the technical rule over
US police technology programmes), the UK National Physical
Laboratory (ComSci) (where his job was to identify technologies
of potential interest to the Criminal Justice community),
the UK Home Office, the UK Police Staff College and the Military during 'Star Wars' (Where
he designed Command and Control specifications, his specialty
at that time; slightly worrying, as some local press thought that he was intending to nuke local miscreants!, if ever!).
the first AI (Artificial Intelligence) research into UK and
US police forces as well as developments in advanced computer
and communications networks. In 1987 he received an award
for the development of beat laptop computers from the then
Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd. He and his team built (you could
not buy them at that time) some of the first micro computers
in the police force, this was at a time when even Mini computers
where considered avant guard. He designed and developed advanced
Command and Control, Criminal Intelligence and other police
facilities. He undertook some of the most in depth research
into police emergency response activities that have ever been
In the 1980's with others he created the Independent
Research Centre (IRC) attached to the University of Exeter
where with those colleagues he was responsible for the development
of one of the earliest prototype Anti-Terrorist Screening
IRC was probably a step too far in the conservative police
force of that time. He was also an Honorary Research
Fellow at the University and a member of the British Computer
Society's Professional Advisory Committee. He was responsible
for trialing the introduction of the revolutionary effects
of the first Police and Criminal Evidence Act and advising the Home
Office on implementation policy for which he received a commendation.
His departments, under his enthusiastic goading, developed
a wide range of police efficiency measures, not an approach
to win friends amongst his peer colleagues in such a reactionary
had left secondary education without any formal qualifications,
but whilst in the police worked part time (unpaid) to obtain
a BA in general science with the then new O.U (Open University,
one of Harold Wilson's boys) He then undertook a full time
masters level degree, with Constabulary backing, leading to an MSc (with
Distinction) in Applied Psychology, gaining the University
prize for outstanding scholarship. He was offered a number
of government and private financial scholarships and eventually
accepted a Science Research Council (SRC) grant to work for
a Doctorate. He went on to obtain a PhD in the area of computing
and cognitive science; in the unusual situation of being funded
by the SRC, but seconded to the police force of which he was
already a member. It seems that everybody was happy. Whilst
in the force he was probably the highest technically / academically
qualified police officer in the United Kingdom. He has been a Fellow
of the British Computer Society for over 25 years, a Chartered Psychologist,
a Chartered IT professional and a member of quite a number
of other professional associations.
During this period he and his wife, Maureen, were the youth leaders in the little Dartmoor village of Lustleigh, Devon.
years in the Police he ran a number of commercial enterprises
in the information industry some of which he foolishly funded
himself. He was a new firms consultant for the UK Department
of Industry. He was at the same time an advisor to the UK
Data Protection Commissioner working on prospective technical
prosecutions. In the 1990's Rupert Murdock bought BSB, canceled
a whole host of satellite data contracts and sunk poor old JH's firm, unfortunately
along with all the collateral in his two houses. A good lesson, too many eggs in one basket. He decided
to move to Luxembourg , live in a caravan and with the support
of friends start again. There he managed international teams of consultants
and companies working for the European Commission and other
agencies. In Luxembourg he taught the Open University MBA
course to international students ( Mainly International Bankers
and EU Functionnaires) covering in addition to IT a number of other courses such as accountancy, design and marketing for which he was at best only tenuously qualified.
He was joint author and a consultant
manager of the EU's Programme on 'Information Engineering'
and also managed many international IT and Business projects
involving EU and Eastern European consortia. He was co-author
of a major 'Accession' report on the Business, IT and Educational
capability of the ten aspirant 'Enlargement' countries of
Eastern Europe who joined the European Union in May 2004.
He authored many minor papers and opinions on that subject
matter. He was involved in some of the EU's first Internet
John Hulbert's earliest research
was into Crowd Psychology, later Cognitive Psychology and
Artificial Intelligence (police operationally related). His
early developments were aimed at the application of information
(especially intelligent intelligence) in commercial and non-commercial
organisations. His current interests are :-
John is married with two sons, one
married to a Bulgarian Concert Pianist from the Academy of
Music and the other to a Thai lady farmer. He and his wife
live mainly in the Aquitaine region of South West France.
They have two granddaughters and with Luxembourgish, Bulgarian,
Thai and Welsh (amongst other more mainstream capabilities
like French, German, Korean and Italian) the next generations
seem to be majoring in minority languages. He sadly only speaks
English, quite good French, a smattering of German and regularly
starts learning Russian.
CV's and BIOS are usually self eulogies
to the person writing them. This one is not different in that
respect. However JH would not be where he is without the input
from five great men. Mind you he is not sure where he is any
1. John's father, a great untrained mathematician,
who at a young age gave up a position as a pilot in the Royal
Flying Corps. This was immediately after having survived an
unreasonably long time during World War I in France. His,
and his families, decision was to continue as a monumental
mason apprentice as there was no future in being a 'chauffeur
in the air' - a great career move? He successfully taught
me to rise above such rebuffs of life, but singularly failed
in his quest to inculcate humility.
2. Dr John Cottingham Alderson, Barrister at Law, the
Chief Constable of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, who
when finding that he had a dangerous maverick in his fold
decided to use him rather than squash him. (Chief Constables
are the direct decedents of the last of the mediaeval war
lords and this was a courageous decision). John would like to believe
that this led to useful if somewhat divergent relationship.
He might still have achieved what he planned but it was a damn
site easier with John Alderson's support.
3. Ron Easterby, Senior Lecturer
Aston University, Birmingham UK, whose talent I do not believe
was acknowledged in either his University or Professional
careers but who had a great effect on my intellectual approaches.
His passing, at his own hand, saddens me still. I often wonder if there was some sign that I should have seen.
4. Dr Chris Evans, Senior Scientist
at the National Physical Laboratory in London UK, author of
'The Mighty Micro TV series' etc. The most unusual civil servant
that John Hulbert had ever met. Dr Evans and John co-authored a number of articles
during which time he introduced me to the new world of the
symbiosis of technology and human factors. He also left this
mortal coil much too early.
5. Dr John Brian Morgan QPM Ex Acting
Chief Constable of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. His
rambunctious and sometimes Machiavellian talents were at times
a great help and at others a great burden. Without his help
and despite our numerous and sometimes tumultuous differences,
JH does not believe that he would have achieved as much. He is another maverick
and the modern police force is poorer, but probably more tranquil, without his unconventional
Its hard writing this last bit in the third person so here I will revert.
In finishing I guess I must say something
about an exceptional woman, my wife Mo. When I lost everything
she stood by me and put her shoulder to the wheel to rebuild.
She still believes that I might amount to something.