Command Team

Director of Investigations: Nikki Holland

Nikki Holland has been appointed as the NCA’s new Director of Investigations.

The Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable, who has a master’s degree in forensic psychology, is a career detective who will take on this new challenge following a policing career spanning three decades.

She has served the majority of her career in various detective roles and has already worked closely with the NCA in her current post. She is responsible for the North West ROCU Titan and the Matrix serious and organised crime portfolio in Merseyside.

Since the start of her career at Merseyside Police in 1988, she has led many murder enquiries, firearms discharge investigations and other major incidents as well as the force diversity programme.

As a superintendent she also led the reduction of crime and disorder across every aspect of policing and was a member of the Safeguarding Children Board and other partnership forums.

In addition, she successfully introduced the process of targeting serious and organised crime groups within the force area – before moving to South Wales Police on promotion to Assistant Chief Constable.
At South Wales Nikki was responsible for specialist crime, including the Joint Scientific Investigation Unit, Major Crime and Force Intelligence. She was the regional ACC for the Welsh ROCU Tarian and Wales Extremism and Counter-Terrorism Unit.

She took on the chief officer strategic role for counter-terrorism, drugs, cyber and child sexual exploitation operations. In addition, she worked with the local Islamic community to improve relations, before she returned to Merseyside early last year.

On return to Merseyside Nikki took lead responsibility for investigation, intelligence, serious and organised crime and Titan. She also led on corporate development, leadership and professional standards.

Her current role involves proactive, covert and reactive investigation of firearms, murder and serious and organised crime for the North West. She has the strategic lead for protecting vulnerable people, is a key member of the Merseyside Vulnerability Forum, has the national lead for sex working and exploitation and is chair of the Women Chief Officer Network.

Nikki is an accredited PIP 3 SIO and is a qualified strategic gold commander.

As Director Investigations Nikki will be responsible for leading some 2,000 officers. Reporting to DDG Operations Matthew Horne, she will be responsible for ensuring operations and investigations are pursued to the highest standards – and with integrity.

Director of Intelligence: Steve Smart

Steve Smart​Steve has had a career spanning more than 20 years working within government against a range of national security threats. For the majority of that time he has been focused against the international terrorist threat and worked closely with National Counter Terrorism Policing in the development and evolution of the CT Policing Network.

He has worked as an intelligence collector, analyst, assessor and investigator, as well as more recently leading and managing sections responsible for intelligence collection and exploitation.

Steve also worked in the private sector where he led the development of an integrated intelligence and investigations function in a major banking group. He has extensive experience of working with partners in the police, wider law enforcement and intelligence, both in the UK and overseas.

A graduate of economics from the University of Lancaster, Steve was made an OBE in 2003.

Director of Vulnerabilities: Will Kerr

Will has 25 years policing experience in Northern Ireland. Most recently he held strategic responsibility for policing in the Greater Belfast area. His previous roles include Assistant Chief Constable Criminal Justice, and Head of the NI Police College. As a senior investigating officer he led a number of high profile murder and serious crime investigations.

Will Kerr will be leading on the Vulnerabilities Directorate that will bring together CEOP, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery and some of those specialist capabilities currently part of the Organised Crime Command that relate to vulnerability.

Director of Prosperity (Economic crime and cyber crime) - Donald Toon

Donald started his career in law enforcement in 1990 joining the then HM Customs & Excise and has worked in criminal investigation, enforcement policy and operational management for more than 20 years. He was HMRC’s Criminal Investigation Director from 2011.  




Chief Information Officer: Gerry Cantwell

Gerry joined in February 2015 on secondment from the Ministry of Defence, where he was director of information systems and services. In his role at the Gerry has focused on developing a new IT Strategy for the NCA and building up the internal CIO function to deliver the IT Strategy.

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