Kent Police one of the ‘best forces in the land’, outgoing chief claims

  • Watch: Chief Constable Alan Pughsley reflects on his nine years leading the force

The outgoing head of Kent Police says his “proudest achievement” is leading the force to be “one of the best in the land”. 

Alan Pughsley formally steps down this week, after nine years as chief constable, to take up a national policing role. 

Mr Pughsley told ITV News Meridian: “It was a really good force when I took it over, but I think if you look across everything we’ve delivered – individually brilliant officers, brilliant staff, brilliant volunteers. 

“Bring them together collectively and we’ve got one of the best police forces, if not the best in the land. That has to be my biggest and proudest achievement.”

A recent inspection found Kent Police to be ‘outstanding’ in recording crime data, and ‘good’ in four other areas.

Before joining the Kent force, Alan Pughsley was a detective in the Metropolitan Police. Credit: Kent Police

Paying tribute, Kent’s Police & Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott, said: “Alan Pughsley has been one of the outstanding leaders in policing… and served with distinction since he first joined the force. 

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

Mr Pughsley joined the Metropolitan Police in 1984, before transferring to the Kent Police in 2009, where he held a variety of senior positions before being appointed chief constable in January 2014.

He is leaving to join the National Police Chiefs’ Council Review into the Operational Productivity of Policing, being chaired by Sir Steve House.

Speaking about his new role, Mr Pughsley said: “I’d like to think that I can bring my 39 years of policing and some of the brilliant experiences at Kent, and the Met before, into a review that I hope allows policing to deal with what it’s here to deal with.

“To get rid of some of the barriers that are maybe stopping us being as efficient and effective… to make policing again as productive as it can be. 

“It had to be something quite dramatic to make me leave this brilliant, fantastic and wonderful force, and that is the reason why after 39 years, and 9 years as the chief, maybe it’s time to give somebody else a chance to run this brilliant force.”  

Recruitment of the new chief constable is due to start within days. Deputy Chief Constable Tim Smith will take temporary charge from 3 October. 

A public survey about what the new chief’s priorities should be has opened online.