Kent Police

Kent Police

Logo of the Kent Police
Motto Protecting and serving the people of Kent
Agency overview
Formed 1857
Employees 6,602[1]
Volunteers 349[1]
Annual budget £257.9 million[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Kent in the country of England, UK
Map of Kent Police's jurisdiction.
Size 1,433 square miles (3,710 km2)
Population 1.65 million
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
Constituting instrument Police Act 1996
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Police Headquarters, Sutton Road, Maidstone
Constables 3,323 (of which 364 are special constables)[2]
Police Community Support Officers 377[1]
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible Matthew Scott
Agency executive Alan Pughsley, Chief Constable
Areas 3 (Reduced from 6 in 2011)
Stations 27
Patrol cars

General Patrol: Skoda Fabia 1.4/1.6

Emergency/Incident Response: Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0TDi & Ford Focus Estate 2.0TDCI

Prisoner Transport/Police Personnel Carrier Vans: Mercedes Sprinter (Police/Prisoner Transport), Vito Vans (Police/Prisoner Transport), LDV Maxus vans (Police/Prisoner Transport), Volkswagen Crafter (Police/Prisoner Transport) & Ford Connect (Forensics)

Traffic & Armed Response: Volvo V70 (Traffic & ARV), BMW 530D (Traffic), BMW 330D (Traffic), BMW X5 (Traffic & ARV) & Audi A6 (Traffic)

Motorcycles: BMW R1200RT (On Road Policing) & Yamaha WR450F (Off Road Policing)

Other Vehicles: Land Rover Discovery (Traffic/Rural Area Policing), Mitsubishi Shogun (Rural Area Policing) & Ford Ranger (Rural Area Policing)
Boats Princess Alexandra III - ex Tamar-type Lifeboat
Planes Shared helicopter with Essex Police. G-ESEX EC 135 Eurocopter.
Programme Street Wars; Coppers
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Kent Police is the territorial police force for Kent in England, including the unitary authority of Medway.

Area and organisation

The force covers an area of 1,443 square miles (3,740 km2) with an approximate population of 1,660,588 (1,114,100 in Kent,[3] and 249,488 in Medway).[4] The Chief Constable is currently Alan Pughsley, who was appointed in 2014. Kent Police were the first force in The United Kingdom to be led by a black Chief Constable; Michael Fuller QPM.

Due to the Channel Tunnel, Kent Police is unique among English forces in having a police station outside of the country, in Coquelles, France, staffed by Kent Police. Kent Police work with other UK and European forces as part of the Cross Channel Intelligence Community, helping to tackle cross-border crime.[5] The cross channel traffic occasionally causes Kent Police and the Highways Agency to enforce Operation Stack, controlling the freight flow on that part of the M20 motorway closest to the ports. Kent also has the largest strategic road network of any force in the UK, covering four motorways.

Proposals made by the Home Secretary on 20 March 2006 saw Kent Police stay as a standalone strategic force for Kent and Medway; it had been suggested that Kent should merge with another police force.[6]

The Port of Dover maintains its own independent police force, the Port of Dover Police, however Kent Police has statutory responsibility for policing the entire county and will take over primacy of serious investigations and incidents within the port when appropriate.


On 14 January 1857, a 222-strong Kent County Constabulary was formed under Chief Constable John Henry Hay Ruxton. The first headquarters was at Wrens Cross, Stone Street, Maidstone, and was rented for use by the police until 23 November 1860 when the force purchased it for £1,200.[7]

In 1860, the initial uniform of a frock coat and a high hat was replaced by a long uniform tunic and shako hat and constables were issued with a rattle and truncheon. In 1885 whistles were introduced and in 1897 the recognisable custodian helmet was introduced.

On 1 April 1889, Kent County Constabulary absorbed five of the fourteen police forces that policed the county of Kent. The remaining nine were absorbed on 1 April 1943. Ruxton retired on 14 August 1894 and died on 20 April 1897.

In terms of mobilisation and communication, Kent Constabulary purchased 20 bicycles in 1896, a number which rose to 129 by 1904. Telephones were given to village police constables in 1925 and by 1931, 29 motorcycles had been introduced, along with one police car. The constabulary employed horses until 1943, when the last was retired.

In 1965, the force had an establishment of 1,988 attested constables and an actual strength of 1,766, making it the third largest county force in Great Britain.[8]

Kent County Constabulary kept this name until the 1990s, when it changed its name to Kent Police, the last British force to keep the word "county" in its official title. Although still unpopular with many residents of Kent, the change was necessary as the large number of visitors coming through the channel tunnel and the ports would understand the word "Police" more readily than "Constabulary".

The Kent Police headquarters are currently located at Sutton Road, Maidstone.[9] Kent Police College is located to the rear of the headquarters site. The headquarters houses the Kent Police Museum.

Areas covered (Divisions)

Until November 2011 the force was formed into six BCU's, as shown below:

Plans to reduce the six BCU's to three divisions were drawn up in 2010[10] The new force Divisions came into being when the existing BCU's were formally dissolved in November 2011, they are structured as follows:

Neighbourhood policing will be carried out at a district level with an extra 400 constables transferred into it. Crime investigation and emergency response will be managed at a central level from the Force Command and Communication Centre. Specialist functions will remain centrally managed.

Tasers were introduced to Kent police in 2009 for rank and file constables, although only Response vehicle drivers were issued with them. Each Response vehicle had to be double crewed with both crew members carrying Taser due to the safety implications, and to allow proper care and control of a Tased individual.

On 6 April 2011 it was announced that the 3 new areas will each be commanded by a Chief Superintendent and Superintendent. Each individual town within each area will be commanded by a Chief Inspector. All emergency response handled from HQ in Maidstone. All response officers will be Standard and Advanced level.

2011 Budget Cuts

Kent Police cancelled their last scheduled intake of trainees for the Regular (paid) force in February 2011. They were due to commence their training at the end of March. There will be no further intake of Regular trainess now for at least 3 years. Conversely 200 Special Constables (volunteers) were sworn in the same month.

On 3 June at 9am every officer and member of staff in Kent Police received an e-mail informing them of their future assignments in the aftermath of the budget cuts.

Future of Kent Police

In a report published by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in July 2011,[11] the impact on the number of police officers and staff partly due to the reduction to Kent Police's budget following the comprehensive spending review is as follows:

Police officers Police staff PCSOs Total
31 March 2010 (actual) 3,787 2,673 387 6,849
31 March 2015 (proposed) 3,274 1,858 364 5,496

Senior management structure

As of 15 May 2016:

In December 2010, former Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Leppard left Kent Police to take over as Commissioner of The City of London Police, replacing Mike Bowron QPM.

On 22 March 2011 former Kent Assistant Chief Constable David Ainsworth (then Deputy Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police) was found dead at his home. He had hanged himself.[13][14]

Essex Police and Kent Police set up a joint Serious Crime Directorate (SCD) in 2010, to help share intelligence. Kent Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge is also simultaneously the ACC for Serious Crime for Essex Police.[15] This has led to speculation that the two forces may merge permanently at some point in the near future.[16]

Chief Constables of Kent Police

From 1857 to present.[17]

  1. Captain John Henry Hay Ruxton- 1 April 1857 to August 1894
  2. Major Henry Edwards- 1894 to 1895
  3. Lt.Col Henry Warde- 1895 to 1921
  4. Major Harry Ernest Chapman- January 1921 to 1940
  5. Captain J A Davison- 1940 to 1942
  6. Sir Percy Sillitoe- 1943 to 1946
  7. Major John Ferguson- 1946 to 1958
  8. Lt. Col Geoffrey White- 1958 to 1962
  9. Richard Dawnay Lemon- April 1962 to 1974
  10. Barry Pain- 1974 to 1982
  11. Frank Jordan- 1982 to 1989
  12. Paul Condon- 1989 to 1993
  13. David Philips- 1993 to 2003
  14. Robert Ayling- 1 April 2003 to 5 January 2004
  15. Michael Fuller QPM- 5 January 2004 to 16 February 2010
  16. Ian Learmonth QPM- 5 July 2010 to 4 January 2014
  17. Alan Pughsley- 4 January 2014 to present

UK TV show Coppers

The 2010 Channel 4 documentary Coppers highlighted the work of the Kent force in two of its episodes. Episode 1 showed the work of the officers and staff at Medway's custody suite and episode 3 showed the force's call centre at Maidstone and the emergency response officers in Medway BCU.[18]

Historical and Notable Incidents

In 2006, Kent Police dealt with the biggest cash robbery in the history of British policing - the Tonbridge Securitas depot robbery. Kent police investigated the theft of £53m, with six men being sentenced to a total of 156 years imprisonment.[19]

In June 2007 Anne Sanderson was shot dead by an armed officer in Sevenoaks, Kent after being seen with what was later identified as a ball bearing gun. It was the first fatal shooting of a woman by UK police in 27 years (and first time ever that the shooting was deliberate). A subsequent IPCC investigation and an inquest jury returned a verdict of lawful killing.[20][21]

Officers killed in the line of duty or while reporting for duty

The Police Memorial Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty, and since its establishment in 1984 has erected over 38 memorials to some of those officers.

The following members of Kent Police are listed on the Roll of Honour:

S/Insp George Moore, SC John Olive, PWRC Henry Kettle, PC Ronald Parker, S/Sgt Reginald John Rogers, SC Arthur Edward Potten, SC Ernest Albert Farrow, SC Frederick Walter Heine, SC Richard Daniel Jay Wills, PC Cecil George Constable, PMS Edward John Toomey, SC William George Warner, S/Sgt William Albert Bransby, SC George Ernest Russell, PC Sydney Russell, SC Harry Thomas R. Pankhurst, PWRC Frederick Chapman, Sgt William George Braddick, SC Frederick James Collard, PWRC Albert Robert Gibling, SC Robert Wheeler, Sgt William George Dickinson, SC Frederick Johnson

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4
  2. "Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2013". HM Government. Office for National Statistics. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  5. "The Cross Channel Intelligence Community (CCIC)".
  6. "Police forces 'to be cut to 24'". BBC News. 20 March 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  7. "Kent Police Museum - History".
  8. The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  9. "Write to us, Kent Police". Kent Police. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  10. "Kent Police - Page not found".
  11. HMIC (July 2011). Valuing the Police: Preparedness Inspection - Kent Police.
  12. "Alan Pughsley QPM - Kent Police".
  13. "Wiltshire deputy chief constable David Ainsworth dead". BBC News. 22 March 2011.
  14. "Ex-police chief David Ainsworth found dead". Kent Online.
  15. "Page is not available".
  17. "Kent Police Museum - Kent's Police Museum covering 150 years of policing history".
  18. "Coppers". Channel 4.
  19. Taylor, Matthew (2 June 2010). "Securitas robbery mastermind Lee Murray jailed in Morocco". The Guardian. London.
  20. "Police face action over shooting". BBC News. BBC. 30 December 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  21. Police use of firearms in the United Kingdom#Fatal incidents
  22. "Driver jailed for killing traffic Pc". BBC News. 12 June 2001.
  23. "Colleagues pay tribute to police officer killed on A249". Kent Online.
  24. "Off-duty officer's tragic death". Kent Online.
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