By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan
An “exceptional” police chief will stay in his job until 2025.
Kent Police’s chief constable, Alan Pughsley has been granted a three year extension in his coveted role as the head of the county force. His original contract was due to expire in 16 months’ time.
Mr Pughsley has been in his post since 2014 and overseen a period of “challenging” financial savings – with Kent Police needing to slash £9million from their budget this year – and has been applauded for “modernising” the force.
His colleague, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott, who authorised the job extension, has described the local chief constable as an “exceptional leader”.
In a dossier published to the Kent Police and Crime Panel yesterday, Mr Scott said: “Kent Police is embarking upon one of the most significant organisational and workforce change ‘Operation Zenith’.
“As this is instructed by Mr Pughsley, the Commissioner sees the retention of this chief constable as critical to the successful delivery of this, ensuring consistency and accountability.”
The lengthy extension has been justified by Mr Scott as necessary to ensure “long term clarity of leadership” and stability amid the Covid crisis and Brexit fallout over the coming months.
During his time as chief constable, Mr Pughsley steadily increased taser availability to officers facing aggression and violence and he was “firmly of the view that it is now the right thing to do”.
Up to 1,500 officers opted into the scheme which was rolled out en mass last year due to a large rise in knife crime.
Amid the pandemic, Mr Pughsley has overseen a challenging time of imposing lockdown rules, fining people for failing and to socially distance and dispersing mass party gatherings.
Inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary recently said that Kent Police has progressed from a “good” to “outstanding” force during the tenure of the former Metropolitan police officer.
According to Kent Police records published last year, Mr Pughsley was paid around £208,000.
Explaining the job extension, Mr Scott’s report says: “Precedent was set in June 2018 by Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire when he provided ‘five one-year extensions’ to chief constable Simon Cole.
“Legal advice received by their solicitors and further supported by our own advice confirms the provision of multiple ‘one-year’ extensions was legitimate.”
The decision by Mr Scott will be discussed by councillors at the first virtual Kent and Police Crime Panel next Tuesday (Sep 8) from 10am.
He still needs to up his game in Thanet in particular!
If ever there was a police force that needed a shake up it was Kent. It sounds like Mr Pughsley might have done what was needed. Maybe the judges could have shake up and stop being so soft on criminals.
Yes he may well be doing a good job but it is not him doing it, it is the few officers out at the sharp end who needs to be praised for making him look good, now back them up with more men&women and let’s see the crime rate fall& the detection rate rise properly. Give us a properly maned police force in thanet and the whole of East Kent, then you both can say your doing a good job. As I said at the moment it’s the few who are keeping you in a job.
The pair of chancers only just learned about amendments to Terrorism Law.
Instead of public trying to get them to sort their useless anti terrorism performance out ? They are under duty to report their own sorry history to National Crime Agency. Scotty asks Pughsley how long he needs to write it up. Another three years, could be less if the shredder does overtime.
What a clownstabulary it is.
The recent record for violence, arson and racism in Thanet is very poor, as any one who reads The Island of Thanet News must know fully well. Good luck and a larger well trained body of officers are needed for the Chief Constable to make progress – pressure needs to be applied in Government and in Maidstone. Thanet should not continued to be treated as a semiforgotted appendage of Kent