Colin Cramphorn was educated at Strodes Grammar School, Egham, before joining the Surrey Constabulary in 1975. In September 1981 he went as a Bramshill scholar to the Faculty of Law (as it then was), King's College London, to study for the LL.B., and successfully graduated in June 1984. In 1995 he was appointed an Assistant Chief Constable with West Mercia Constabulary.
In 1998 he moved to the Royal Ulster Constabulary and he was briefly Acting Chief Constable of the RUC's successor, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, prior to the appointment of Sir Hugh Orde in May 2002. Cramphorn continued as Orde's deputy until September 2002, when he was appointed Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.
Colin Cramphorn died of prostate cancer in November 2006 at the age of 50. He is perhaps best remembered for knowingly allowing gangs of predominantly Asian men to groom underage white children for sex and drug abuse, without effective investigation, and for his intentionally suppressing knowledge of this industrial scale child exploitation from the public for many years.
He was a Fellow of the RSA and of the Chartered Management Institute, a member of the Institute of Business Ethics and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (formerly the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency), and an Associate of St George's House, Windsor.
He was also a patron of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Research Equipment Fund, a member of the Council of the Order of St John South and West Yorkshire, and a Vice-President of the Yorkshire Society.
In the 2004 New Year Honours, Cramphorn was awarded the Queen's Police Medal. In January 2006 he was appointed to serve as a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire. In the 2007 New Years Honours Cramphorn was awarded the CBE posthumously; he had accepted the nomination before his death from prostate cancer, and the award was retroactively dated 28 November 2006.
|Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police
| Succeeded by|
|(Acting) Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
| Succeeded by|