Kent Police

Kent Police
Kent Police
Kent police.gif
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
England Police Forces (Kent).svg
Map of Kent Police's jurisdiction.
Size 1,433 square miles (3,710 km2)
Population 1.65 million
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
Governing body Kent Police Authority
Constituting instrument Police Act 1996
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Police Headquarters, Sutton Road, Maidstone
Constables 4,067 (of which 349 are special constables)[1]
Police Community Support Officers 377[1]
Agency executive Ian Learmonth, Chief Constable
Areas 6 (Reducing to 3, late 2011)
Stations 27
Patrol cars Skoda Fabia (Gen Patrol), Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0TDi (Emergency Response), Mercedes Sprinter & Vito vans, LDV Maxus vans, Volvo V70 Traffic & ARV, BMW 530D Traffic, BMW 330D Traffic, BMW X5 Traffic & ARV, Audi A6
Boats Princess Alexandra III - ex Tamar-type Lifeboat
Planes Shared helicopter with Essex Police. G-ESEX EC 135 Eurocopter.
* 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,[2] and 249,488 in Medway).[3] The Chief Constable is currently Ian Learmonth, who was appointed in 2010 and is the former Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary.[4] Prior to Learmonth's appointment, Kent Police was led by Britain's first black Chief Constable, Michael Fuller QPM.

Because of 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 officers. Kent Police works 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. [2]

Kent Police Authority has nine councillors (seven from Kent County Council, and two from Medway Borough Council), three Justices of the Peace, and five independent members.

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 where the force purchased it for £1,200.[6]

Also 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 to the Kent force.

On 1 April 1889, Kent County Constabulary absorbed five of the fourteen other police forces that policed the county of Kent at the time. 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 officers in 1925, and by 1930, eight motorcycles had also been introduced, with 19 more bought in 1931 along with one police car. The constabulary still employed horses until 1943, when the last was retired.

In 1965, the force had an establishment of 1,988 officers and an actual strength of 1,766, making it the third largest county force in Great Britain.[7]

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 considered necessary because it was thought that 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. Kent Police College is located to the rear of the headquarters site.

Areas covered (BCUs)

(Reorganised areas from earlier nine BCU structure to current six BCU structure; this was in response to calls for police force mergers and Kent's argument to remain a strategic stand-alone force.)

Plans have now been released to reduce the six current BCU's in the force into three new Divisions. A timeline for this change has not been announced, but is likely to be late 2011.[8] The new force Divisions will be structured as follows:

Neighbourhood policing will be carried out at a district level with an extra 400 officers 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.

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

On April 6, 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. There are up to 400 extra officers on neighbourhood patrols now with 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.[citation needed]

On June 3 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.[citation needed]

Future of Kent Police

In a report published by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in July 2011[9], 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 6,847
31 March 2015 (proposed) 3,274 1,858 364 5,496

Senior management structure

  • Chief Constable - Ian Learmonth[10]
  • Deputy Chief Constable - Alan Pughsley
  • Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge (Joint Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate)
  • Assistant Chief Constable - Andy Adams (Operational Support)
  • Assistant Chief Constable - Allyn Thomas (Human Resources & Corporate Communications)
  • Temporary Assistant Chief Constable - Paul Brandon (Area Operations)
  • Director of Finance (civilian) - Simon Redman (Finances & Infrastructure)

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.[11][12]

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 Media Relations for Essex Police.[13] This has led to speculation that the two forces may merge permanently at some point in the near future.[14]

On December 3rd 2011, ACC Allyn Thomas will retire from Kent Police. It has not been made public knowledge as of October 2011 whether he will be replaced or, in light of the impending budget cuts, Kent Police will downgrade from 4 ACCs to 3.

Chief Constables of Kent Police

From 1857 to present.[15]

  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- 5 January 2004 to 16 February 2010
  16. Ian Learmonth- 5 July 2010 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.[16]

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. Officers investigated the theft of £53m, with six men being sentenced to a total of 156 years imprisonment.[17]

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.[18][19]

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:

  • PC Israel May - Died 24 August 1873, aged 37 - Beaten with his own truncheon while attempting to arrest a drunken man.
  • PC John Harryman - Died 29 May 1907, aged 29 - Killed by a railway engine while guarding the line for the royal train.
  • PC John Truphet Saywell - Died 1 October 1910, aged 35 - Died during an operation on an injury inflicted during a disturbance.
  • DS George Henry Apps - Died 7 June 1916, aged 34 - Died of injuries received on duty in 1915 when knocked down by a car.
  • PC Charles William Walker - Died 21 July 1924, aged 51 - Died of injuries received on duty when he was knocked down by a cyclist.
  • PC Edwin James Longhurst - Died 8 February 1928, aged 44 - Fatally injured cycling on duty when knocked down by a bus in Canterbury.
  • PC Ernest F. Bradley - Died 18 August 1928, aged 27 - Fatally injured on motorcycle patrol in a collision with another motorcycle.
  • PC Albert Cox - Died 20 December 1930, aged 40 - Died of injuries sustained in January 1930 in a cycling accident on duty.
  • RPC Charles William Haines - Died 20 September 1940, aged 65 - Fatally injured when struck by a car cycling back to his station in an air raid.
  • PC Thomas James Farrell - Died 1 November 1940, aged 38 -Killed during an enemy air raid when bomb splinters pierced his helmet.
  • PWRC Herbert James Chittenden - Died 1 January 1942, aged 41 - Killed when his police motorcycle struck the kerb and overturned.
  • PC Stephen George James Huggins - Died 31 October 1942, aged 37 - Fatally injured by a bullet from an enemy aircraft during an air raid.
  • PWRC Reginald Walter Dowling - Died 8 April 1943, aged 49 - Died of injuries received in June 1942 during an air raid at Canterbury.

  • Killed in enemy air raids off duty or duty status unknown (World War II) between 1940 & 1945

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

  • PC Frank Skewis - Died 8 January 1949, aged 49 - Killed when accidentally struck by a car while rounding up stray horses.
  • PC Alan George Baxter - Died 5 June 1951, aged 33 - Fatally wounded when shot by a gunman being sought by police.
  • PC Hubert Stanley Pay - Died 4 November 1951, aged 25 -Fatally injured travelling to work when his motorcycle hit a lorry.
  • T/Sgt Gerald Thomas P. Rooney - Died 14 March 1956, aged 24 - Shot dead by terrorists, on duty with the British Police Unit in Cyprus.
  • PC Peter W. Child - Died 27 January 1964, aged 27 - Killed on a driving course when the police car he was in crashed.
  • PC Robert Archibald Beattie - Died 5 July 1965, aged 41 - and
  • PC Robert Alfred John Knight - Died 5 July 1965, aged 29 - Killed when their patrol car was hit head on by a car on the motorway.
  • PC George Craig - Died 21 May 1967, aged 36 - Killed on motorcycle patrol when he ran into an unlit lorry at night.
  • PC Phillip Alan Long - Died 28 June 1968, aged 22 - Fatally injured in a road accident while on motorcycle patrol.
  • DC Roger Gardiner - Died 26 May 1972, aged 36 - Killed while driving a police vehicle when he lost control and hit a tree.
  • PC Malcolm John Boakes - Died 21 October 1973, aged 31 - and
  • John Francis Ryan - Died 21 October 1973, aged 33 - Killed while travelling to duty when a load fell off a lorry onto their car.
  • DS Charles Edward Brisley - Died 20 April 1978, aged 47 - Fatally injured when struck by a lorry trailer on duty in Folkestone harbour.
  • Sgt George Frederick Matthew - Died 16 June 1983, aged 42 - Killed on motorcycle patrol when his machine collided with a lorry.
  • PC Duncan Watts Clift - Died 24 March 1991, aged 27 - Run down and fatally injured trying to stop a stolen car while off duty.
  • PC Alexander Gordon Doe - Died 18 May 1993, aged 44 - Killed on an advanced motorcycle course when his machine crashed.
  • PC Jonathan Bruce Odell - Died 19 December 2000, age 30 - Run down and killed by a speeding vehicle he was attempting to stop.[20]
  • PC Katie Louise Mitchell - Died 3 October 2007, age 39 - Killed in a motorcycle accident while travelling to duty at Tonbridge.
  • PC Phillip Edward Pratt - Died 14 June 2009, aged 26 - Killed when struck by a vehicle while protecting the scene of an accident.[21]
  • DS Terry Easterby - Died 25 February 2011, aged 44 - Died in a motorcycle collision while travelling to report for duty at Medway.[22]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Kent Police Museum - History
  7. ^ The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  8. ^
  9. ^ HMIC (July 2011). Valuing the Police: Preparedness Inspection - Kent Police.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Wiltshire deputy chief constable David Ainsworth dead". BBC News. 22 March 2011. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Taylor, Matthew (2 June 2010). "Securitas robbery mastermind Lee Murray jailed in Morocco". The Guardian (London). 
  18. ^ "Police face action over shooting". BBC News (BBC). 30 December 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^

External links

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