Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley QPM has stepped down after four decades in the force.
He will take up a new role on the National Police Chiefs’ Council Review into the Operational Productivity of Policing.
Pughsley has been Chief Constable since January 2014 and Home Secretary Priti Patel praised his “outstanding leadership and tenacity”.
He 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 NPCC’s review will be chaired by the current temporary Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Steve House.
It comes at a time when the image of police forces across the UK has taken a battering.
The review will examine how to increase effectiveness and productivity in policing, utilise new technology, remove bureaucracy and drive up efficiency.
Pughsley added: “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.”
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.
He added: “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.”
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.”
Former Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes appointed Pughsley as Chief Constable in a break with tradition. Most forces would appoint from outside the organisation. His successor will be appointed by the serving commissioner.