John 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.

On return 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.

Despite 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!).

He introduced 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 undertaken.

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 Systems (ATASS). 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 organisation.

Dr Hulbert 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.

After 25 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 developments.

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 way!

These are:-

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 input.

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.

(c) John Hulbert 2000

 

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