Chief Constable of Kent Police Alan Pughsley QPM Photo: Kent Police

After nearly 39 years of service, Chief Constable of Kent Police Alan Pughsley QPM has announced he is to retire from the force to take up a prestigious national policing role.

Mr Pughsley, who has been a chief officer at Kent Police since May 2009 and served as Chief Constable since January 2014, will join the National Police Chiefs’ Council Review into the Operational Productivity of Policing.

The review, to be chaired by the current temporary Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Steve House, will examine how to increase effectiveness and productivity in policing, utilise new technology, remove bureaucracy and drive up efficiency. Kent Police has been consistently graded as Outstanding by the independent policing inspectorate across a number of areas.

Mr Pughsley, who has been a chief officer at Kent Police since May 2009 and served as Chief Constable since January 2014, will join the National Police Chiefs’ Council Review into the Operational Productivity of Policing.

Best force in the country

Mr Pughsley said: ‘This is not a decision I have taken lightly. It has without question been the honour of my life to serve as the Chief Constable of what is widely acknowledged as the best force in the country.

‘The review will shape policing across the entire country for the next generation and for this reason it was too important an opportunity to turn down. It affords me a real opportunity to bring many of the policing best practices developed by us here in Kent into the policing mainstream for the future.’

Mr Pughsley joined the Metropolitan Police in 1984 where he carried out a variety of roles, mainly as a detective developing his expertise in murder investigations, armed robbery, kidnap, firearms and drug related crimes. He joined Kent Police in May 2009 as Assistant Chief Constable for Specialist Operations before heading up the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, one of the largest in the country.

In March 2011 Mr Pughsley was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable where he led on the design and implementation of a new policing model, was responsible for quality performance delivery as well as ensuring the force was run in an efficient and effective way. In December 2013 he was promoted again to Chief Constable of Kent Police, taking up the role in January 2014.

Mr Pughsley said: ‘I have hugely enjoyed my time with Kent Police. It has been a real privilege to serve the people of the county and to experience first-hand the extraordinary bond between the public of Kent and their force. Making the decision to leave has been one of the most difficult of my life, it will be a huge wrench to leave.

‘Policing is a decent and honourable calling. I feel as strongly about that now as I did when I walked into the Hendon Police Training Centre 39 years ago. 

‘There is no job like it, and it is a real privilege to serve. It is not an easy job. But it is a job worth doing. It means something. There is no greater honour than to serve the public.

‘The next Chief Constable will inherit an outstanding force. The leadership team of the force is incredibly strong, and the safety of the people of Kent is in very capable hands.

‘I wish my Chief Officer colleagues and the new Chief Constable when they are appointed the very best.’

Kent’s Police & Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott, who will appoint the next Chief Constable, said: ‘Alan Pughsley has been one of the outstanding leaders in policing during his time as Chief Constable of Kent Police and served with distinction since he first joined the Force in 2009. In that time, we have seen significant changes within policing and he has dealt with every challenge with the utmost professionalism, and with a focus on looking after the great police officers, staff and volunteers who work for Kent Police.

‘It has been a privilege to work alongside him during the past six years, during which we have worked together to make our neighbourhoods safer, protect vulnerable people from harm and support victims of crime. The turnaround in police officer numbers, the improvements in performance and the support he has given his people are lasting legacies he leaves Kent Police with.

‘He now moves on to a prestigious role nationally which will be incredibly influential. Of course, I am disappointed to see him go. But I wish him well in his future endeavours.

‘On behalf of the public of Kent, I thank him for over 38 years of service to our county and our country.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘With nine years under his belt as Chief Constable of Kent Police, Alan has shown outstanding leadership and tenacity and has a track record of delivery across nearly four decades in policing of which he should be very proud. Both as a Chief Constable and as the NPCC’s lead for crime operations, he has maintained a relentless focus on protecting the public.

‘He will now bring his wealth of experience and his traditional no-nonsense approach to the NPCC’s review into the Operational Productivity of Policing, which will help ensure that the public receive the quality of policing they deserve from our significant investment.’

More details

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Smith will become Temporary Chief Constable on 3 October. A process to find Kent’s next Chief Constable will be announced by Matthew Scott later.

By Ed

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