Michael was born to Windrush-generation Jamaican immigrants in 1959 and joined the Metropolitan Police Service as a cadet at the age of 16. He served in some of the most demanding Uniformed and Detective roles throughout London, spending many years at New Scotland Yard. He was instrumental in setting up the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force and wrote the Met Police Action Plan in response to criticism arising from the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. Michael also set up and commanded the Operation Trident command unit, which successfully reduced gun crime in London and oversaw numerous high profile murder investigations. In 2001 he won the G2 ˜Man of the Year Award' in recognition of his personal achievements and contribution to policing in London.
In 2004 Michael became Britain's first black Chief Constable. He served as Chief Constable of Kent Police until March 2010. As Chief Constable he successfully led the Force response to the Calais migration crisis and to the Channel Tunnel fire. He worked with European police forces to counter Islamist radicalisation and avert terrorist incidents. Michael also led the police response to ˜Britain's biggest cash robbery', which took place at the Securitas depot in Kent and he was instrumental in the successful prosecution of the key criminals.
By the time Michael retired, Kent had 263 more officers and crime had been reduced by 22%. On retiring Michael was awarded the Queen's Police Medal. He has also won awards for his management of diversity from the National Black Police Association and Personnel Today. Under his leadership Kent Police reached 4th place in the national Stonewall Gay Friendly Employers' Index and was highlighted by Her Majesty's Police Inspectorate as one of the most improved police forces within England and Wales.
Having qualified as a Barrister while serving as a Chief Constable, in 2010 Michael was appointed as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service. In this role he was responsible for inspecting the performance of both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office. He reported directly to the Attorney General and Parliament. He retired from this position in 2015.
His first memoir, Kill the Black One First (Kings Road) is a story of displacement, identity, social justice and questioning what it means to belong, and if you can ever truly identify with a group which doesn't see you as one of its own.