People | Podcasts | Blogs

Al McGregor
Executive Director 
BA (Hons), PGCE, PCC, MSc, FcollT.

img_2516.jpgAreas of Responsibility:
– Police Training (National & International)
– Intelligence Services Training (Private & State)  
– Prisons & Youth Offender Institute Training 

We put Psychology into policing after the damage has been done.. why not before? Al is committed to making that happen.

Al holds three degrees from UK Universities and is dedicated to enabling the use of Psychology for good for all in front-line services. Al completes monthly shifts with the London MET Police Force and Essex Police Force in an active researcher role. Embarking on his Ph.D Psychology research into the use of post traumatic growth & psychological strengths in the UK Police.

Al has 12 years teaching experience in 4 state secondary schools in areas of high deprivation & high crime in the UK. First on the scene at a stabbing of a 15 year old on his second day as an newly Qualified Teacher in Nechells (Birmingham), Al has no issue jumping into danger to help someone. Two years lecturing at postgraduate level in the UK and one year internationally.  He is also an ICF (International Coaching Federation) professionally certified coach.  He is down to earth, kind, private and centred. It has been his total passion to take positive psychology and post traumatic growth to those on the front-line for over ten years. 

[Please see Education and Police Training for More Feedback]

Al’s DBS number is: 001632861288 issued October 2018.


“I have heard Al from Inner Armour talk on two separate occasions and each time it strikes a chord with me. As a Police Officer of more than 20 years the concept learning to use psychology to develop a much needed resilience in ourselves and in support of colleagues is one of the most important opportunities for cultural change I have seen. I have lost officers in my command to suicide and serious illness on too many occasions, the concept of Inner Armour at its purest is saving lives and looking out for each other. That’s the reason we joined the job isn’t it?”

Detective Superintendent Andy Furphy/ MET POLICE – UK

“I’ve never met someone with so much passion for Psychology before. Al has got the balance right between coming out with us on shift regularly and getting stuck in, going out with Essex, listening to officers, seeing what we deal with & teaching us how to apply quarantine.

I watched this past year as Inner Armour tested, taught & strategically implemented Quarantine. For Al to be working nationally, liaising with Chief Superintendents, Assistant Commissioners, The Police Federation & different forces has impressed me.

This method reduces stress, anxiety & depression & is one of the most important developments in policing I’ve experienced. The resilience I’ve seen develop in my officers since doing this training is incredible. We will look back in years to come and be shocked we didn’t utilise this sooner.”

Sergeant Daryl Jones/12GD/ MET POLICE – UK

“In the raft of dynamic educational professionals, Al stands out as talented, able and distinguished. Unique in that his professionalism has grounded itself in transforming educational provision for some of society’s most vulnerable and disenfranchised children; those whom society often marginalise because they are ‘too difficult’ and confront society’s norms and fail to conform.

 The outstanding quality of Al’s work in education has been acknowledged by colleagues in that all advice and guidance given is always taken in the interest of all stakeholders, utilising all available resources to ensure the best possible outcomes.  Not only does Al manage to establish and maintain high quality of training for all, but recognises unequivocally the importance of emotional stability and long term sustainability.

 He undertakes his role with dignity, fairness, transparency, tenacity, coupled with kindness and empathy.

 Whilst Al would always emphasise the team-work at all levels, at the heart of this team is a colleague with a dynamic and modern vision of the power of ‘Inner Armour’ to transform lives.”

Trystan Williams  – Executive CEO/Principal/ VENTURERS TRUST – BRISTOL – UK

Dr Steve Watts
Senior Policing Advisor
D.Crim.J., MSc, Dip.Crim (Cantab)

Areas of Responsibility:
– Advising National & International Police & Intelligence Training & content.

Steve advises us on all policing issues including training, press, systematic implementation and the oversees Inner Armour’s impact in the UK, New Zealand, Steve-Watts-800x533-800x533Australia and the UAE

Now based in Sydney Australia Steve has a total of over 40 years operational and strategic policing and emergency response experience, in particular he served in UK Policing at all levels to Chief Officer for 32 years. He hold a Masters Degree in Investigative Psychology, Post Graduate Diploma in Criminology and a Doctorate in Criminal Justice. Examples of his professional credentials and roles are as below.

  • 32 years operational and strategic police service, with extensive experience at all levels, including Head of Criminal Investigation and Assistant Chief Constable (Specialist Operations).
  • Commander of the UK War Crimes Investigation team in Kosovo in 2000. 
  • Vice Chair of UK Homicide & Major Crime Investigation Steering Group
  • South East England Regional Lead for Counter Terrorism.
  • National Lead for Investigative Interviewing.
  • National Lead for Maritime Policing & Operations. 
  • Chief Strategic Policing Advisor to Abu Dhabi Police in the UAE
  • EU Special Counsellor and as such was engaged in reviewing and developing the delivery of Strategic Planning and Performance Management regimes to the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
  • Global policing, Counter Terrorism, Security and management consultant.


James Pope 
Director of Strategy
BSc (Hons), PGCE, NPQH.

Areas of responsibility –
– Education Training, (Primary, Secondary, FE)
– Education Training (State & Independent)
– University Education Training
– Higher Education Training.

James P.jpg

James leads the strategic arm of Inner Armour and is an experienced educational leader having worked in educational leadership for over a decade. 

Most recently James was Headteacher and executive Headteacher within the Southwest, working in schools facing significant challenges educationally and financially. 

His School featured in BBC 2 documentary ‘School’.  James was described as having acted with principles and dignity in exceptionally challenging circumstances. We would also describe him as a hero. To stand up on national television and allow the country to see the true nature of funding cuts, OFSTED inspections and the brutality of the education system first hand blew us away. We called him immediately. 

BBC 2 School

James also runs his own company; InspirEDucate. 

James in the Press: 

– Headteachers Round Table:

– The Times Educational Supplement:

– The Times Educational Supplement:

– The Guardian:

Dr Vikki Barnes
Head of Psychology
BSc, MSc, DClinPsy, HCPC Registered

Areas of Responsibility:
– Corporate Training
– Education Training
– Police Training
– Internal Inner Armour Clinical Employee Psychological & Coaching Supervision.

Dr Vikki Barnes is involved in all things Psychology within Inner Armour – which is alot. She advises on academic quality in the Inner Armour content, writes, publishes, Vikki Barnes.jpgfacilitates and provides clinical internal psychological support for all Inner Armour as we work on the front line. Vikki’s work with Virgin Care as a national lead in Positive Psychology speaks for itself.

Vikki Qualified as a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Exeter, has an MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She also has numerous academic Positive Psychology accreditation’s.
Virgin careVikki has worked in various clinical, operational and strategic roles. She has also worked for over 10 years with the NHS and the Virgin Group, founding and leading organisation-wide mental health and wellbeing programmes. She now works as a freelance consultant for individuals and organisations who want to look after themselves and the mental wellbeing of their people.
Vikki enjoys working overseas where she can embed her passions more globally, recently spending time in the British Virgin Islands, offering emotional support for hurricane survivors with individual therapy sessions and group happiness workshops. She is constantly inspired by the many ways in which Positive Psychology helps improve health and wellbeing.

Vikki in the Press:

Aaron Eckhoff
Director of Research
BSc (Hons), PGCE.

Areas of Responsibility:
– Research Qualitative, Quantitative, longitudinal & organisational.
– Military Training
– Health/NHS Training.

Aaron is a progressive educationalist, Mathematician, Physics specialist and Senior Aaron-Eckhoff-e1552659428372-253x300leader in Education. Aaron advises on all data, quantitative research and strategic projects that Inner Armour is involved in.

Hailing from the USA and a Senior School leader with a passion for teaching and learning in all forms. Aaron’s professional edge, clarity and challenging nature ensures all Inner Armour Data is sound and robust.

Aaron has taught maths to many 6th form students over the years who have gone on to study at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge & many other Universities internationally. His experience in physics and mathematics cuts through the noise and we trust him totally with all our data.


Marcus Van Hagen
Business Development Director

Areas of Responsibility:Marcus_HeadShot.jpg

– Business Development across Military, Policing, Intelligence, Education, Health & Corporate
– New Markets
– Sales
– Tenders and Contracts  

Marcus is Vice Chair of the Acquired Brain Injury Forum for London and has for the last 12 years been a serving member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Marcus is focused on business development and is delighted to assist with building key business relationships with all customers. With a background in mental health provision across both adult , child and adolescence (CAMHs),  Marcus has been instrumental in finding new and innovative ways to help individuals and organisations deliver good and effective mental health.
Marcus enjoys public speaking on the subject of good mental health and enjoys the challenge of negotiating good business solutions that help both us, the customer and users of Inner Armour.


Episode 1: Danni Brooke


Episode 2: Floyd Woodrow MBE – Coming  Monday 30th September



First Blog coming Monday 30th September!

Inner Armour Associates

The following people are our associates. They are unpaid and take part in our research projects, co-facilitation & international police & military projects.

Alex Atherton

Alex Atherton is an experienced secondary headteacher and senior leader; including Alexthree headships in large and diverse inner London schools over a twelve year period including a short stint in alternative provision. He achieved his first headship after only ten years in the profession. 

Born in Yorkshire his career started in Manchester before moving to the capital. He has three degrees and has an academic background in social science. He is committed to making a difference in whatever field he finds himself and passionate about all he does. 

He is now working across a range of primary and secondary schools and is the Education Advisor to the Parliamentary Commission into serious youth violence.