My father, Raymon Anning, who has died aged 90 from pneumonia aged 90, was a police officer who rose through the ranks to become the last British commissioner of the Hong Kong police force, commanding more than 30,000 police officers.
He was not particularly well educated, having left school at the age of 15, but Ray was always extremely ambitious. This was partly due to his desire to do better than his father, Frederick, who was also a police officer and had left his wife, Doris, for a younger woman when Ray was 11.
Born in Balham, south London, and, following his national service as a military policeman with the army, in 1952 Ray joined the Metropolitan police as a PC at Brixton police station. Almost as soon as he joined the Met, he applied himself to pass the necessary exams to achieve the next rank, studying for at least an hour every night, with, according to his wife, Beryl (nee Boxall), whom he married in 1949, the only exceptions being 25 December and the nights when my sister, Julie, and I were born.
Ray achieved several promotions while moving from one London police station to another, and in 1969 as a chief superintendent, he was sent to Anguilla as head of a force of 30 Metropolitan police officers to help quell disturbances there. This turned out to be not too taxing as all most of the residents of Anguilla wanted was not to be governed by St Kitts.
In 1973, having been appointed the youngest commander in the Met’s history, he was put in charge of Scotland Yard’s first internal complaints division, codenamed A10. The commissioner of the day, Robert Mark, had decided something meaningful should be done to address the increasing (and justified) accusations of police corruption within the Met. While Ray’s new command was by no means a popular position, he was extremely successful and public confidence in the Met gradually increased.
Ray rose to the rank of deputy assistant commissioner in the Met, where he was the second-in-command of the CID, before leaving to become one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors in 1979. In this role he was responsible for overseeing all police forces in Wales and the south-west of England.
In 1983 Ray accepted the offer to become the deputy commissioner of the Royal Hong Kong police force (RHKP), and two years later became the commissioner. The seven years that Ray served in Hong Kong were eventful and challenging. So-called illegal immigrants flooded over the border from China every night, the majority of whom were apprehended and returned the next morning, large numbers of refugees were arriving by boat from Vietnam and had to be handled as humanely as possible, and there were riots in Hong Kong following the Tiananmen Square protests occurring in mainland China.
Ray retired in 1989, and the family settled in Reigate, Surrey. He continued to work with Securicor as an adviser until 1994. In 1975 he received the Queen’s Police Medal and in 1982 was appointed CBE.
Julie died in 2012. Ray is survived by Beryl, me and his two grandchildren, Caroline and Richard.