Chief Constable Alan Pughsley QPM

Alan Pughsley is responsible for:

  • the direction and control of the force
  • budget management and the use of funds to deliver force objectives

As Chief Constable he’s accountable to the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and is the person responsible to the courts for police operations.

He’s also a member of the Kent Partnership and the Public Service Board.


Alan Pughsley joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1984 where he carried out a variety of roles, mainly as a detective. He has expertise in murder investigations, armed robbery, firearms and drug related crimes. In 2005 he ran the Kidnap and Specialist Investigation Unit and led the Special Project’s Team tackling ‘contract killings’ and serious and organised crime.

In 2007 Mr Pughsley went to Lewisham, South London as Borough Commander. He was responsible for all policing activity in the borough, including crime detection and reduction, citizen focus, neighbourhood policing and partnership working.

Mr Pughsley has also spent time with Surrey Police as a Detective Superintendent in the Partnership and Criminal Justice Unit, responsible for establishing strategic alliances and working partnerships with key stakeholders.

Mr Pughsley joined Kent Police on 18 May 2009 as Assistant Chief Constable for Specialist Operations before heading up a new joint Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, one of the largest in the country.

In March 2011 Mr Pughsley was appointed 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 Mr Pughsley was appointed Chief Constable of Kent Police, taking up the role in January 2014. He said: ‘I am honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to serve the communities of Kent as Chief Constable.’

In June 2015 Mr Pughsley received the prestigious Queen’s Police Medal in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours list. The medal is awarded by the Sovereign for distinguished service.

Deputy Chief Constable Tony Blaker

Tony Blaker supports the Chief Constable in making sure Kent Police is efficient and effective. He’s responsible for:
  • all operational delivery and performance 
  • corporate services
  • professional standards
  • legal services
  • corporate communications
He is also the force champion for equality, diversity and human rights.


Tony Blaker took up the position of Deputy Chief Constable for Kent Police on 4 June 2018. He had previously worked as the ACC for Central Operations Directorate from the 6 June 2016, which included Tactical Operations Command, Central Investigation and Strategic Partnerships Command, Public Protection Command and Counter-Terrorism policing.
He spent the first 26 years of his policing service in Sussex Police with his last post being the Head of Operations Command for Surrey and Sussex, where he led on Firearms, Public Order, Roads and Gatwick Airport policing. He has substantial experience of policing large-scale and complex operations such as Brighton Pride and Lewes Bonfire, and was the strategic commander for the response to the Shoreham air crash in 2015 and the anti-fracking protests in Balcombe 2013.
Previously, as Head of Corporate Services he was responsible for implementing the Niche Record Management System and designing the Target Operating Model for Local Policing. As the NPCC Lead for Courts, Senior Responsible Officer for Digital First and the London and South East Video-Enabled Justice Programmes; he is working with partners to deliver improvements and transform technology in the Criminal Justice System to deliver justice for victims and witnesses.

Deputy Chief Officer Ian Drysdale

Ian Drysdale is the Deputy Chief Officer and responsible for the direction, control and enhancement of all non-operational but vital support functions.
He supports the Chief Constable in ensuring the force’s resources meet the Chief Constable’s policing mission, vision, values and priorities whilst operating in an affordable funding context.
Additionally, Ian leads for the force on:
  • Support Services
  • Procurement
  • Estate
  • Corporate Finance
  • IT
  • Payroll/Pensions
  • Business Services
  • Fleet
  • Corporate Services
  • Inspection and Innovation
  • Governance
  • Policy
  • Executive Support
  • Change Management
  • Information Security
  • Data Protection
  • Disclosure
  • Human Resources
  • HR
  • Learning and Development
  • Occupational Health
  • Performance Improvement Unit
  • Legal Services
  • Corporate Communications
Ian is also the co-founder and Chair of the Police Staff Benevolent Fund.


Ian Drysdale is professionally qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD). He also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA). Mr Drysdale has worked for Kent Police since 1989 – previously he worked for Kent County Council and the Army.
On joining Kent Police Mr Drysdale worked in a variety of management positions on Local Policing Divisions. He was promoted in 1996 to Business Manager where he had financial, HR and administrative responsibility for the Specialist Crime and Tactical Operations functions at Headquarters.
In 2004 he was seconded to conduct a review of the HR and training functions and was appointed as the Best Value Manager in 2005 where he delivered reviews and improvement proposals for Legal Services, Finance, Estates and other corporate functions.
In 2006 he was appointed as the Departmental Head for Organisation and Development and in 2008 he became the Head of Human Resources. He became the Joint Head of HR for Kent Police and Essex Police in 2011 and was formally recognised as the Director of HR in 2013 becoming a Chief Officer for both forces in 2014.
Mr Drysdale was appointed as the Director of Corporate Services in 2015 for Kent Police – a role that combined the critical functions of leading the Corporate Services functions and delivering the significant change programme to meet the spending review requirements. 
In 2019 Mr Drysdale became the first member of police staff in England and Wales to be appointed as a Deputy Chief Officer. Reporting to the Chief Constable and working alongside the Deputy Chief Constable, Mr Drysdale has overall responsibility for all of the non-operational policing matters including: Support Services; HR; Corporate Communications; Corporate Services; Information Security and Legal Services.
In 2010 Mr Drysdale passed the Senior Police National Assessment Centre (PNAC) and was selected to participate in the Strategic Command Course at the Police Staff College in 2011. He is the Chair of the Chief Police Officers Staff Association Panel of Friends and is also a Senior PNAC Assessor and an accredited Senior Information Risk Owner. He is also proud to be the co-founder and current Chairman of the Police Staff Benevolent Fund.

A/Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix

Claire Nix is responsible for Central Operations, which includes:   
  • Tactical Operations
  • Crime and Incident Response
  • Criminal Justice and Special Branch
  • Protecting Vulnerable People Command


Claire Nix took up the position as A/ACC for Central Operation on the 9 September 2019.

Claire joined Kent Police in April 1991 and has worked in a variety of roles in local policing, crime group, Major Crime and Strategic Criminal Justice. She has also worked in a collaborative role across both Kent Police and Essex Police as the Head of Learning and Development. 

As an accredited detective and Senior Investigating Officer, Claire has worked on high profile and complex cases.

While supporting the NPCC lead for Custody, Claire co-ordinated and developed the national policing response to the Hookway Judgement resulting in emergency legislation being laid to overcome unforeseen changes to police bail.

Claire is a Strategic and Specialist Firearms Commander, Gold Public Order Commander and Strategic CBRN Commander with command experience of Protest, Policing Events and Football, as well as Major incidents and emergencies.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith (Kent Police and Essex Police)

Tim Smith is responsible for the joint Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, including:

  • intelligence and specialist operations
  • major, serious and organised crime
  • forensics

Assistant Chief Constable Peter Ayling

Peter Ayling is responsible for Local Policing in Kent, including:
  • vulnerability investigation teams
  • criminal investigation department
  • local policing teams


Peter Ayling took up the position of Assistant Chief Constable on 18 June 2018.

Peter joined Kent Police in 1998 working in a variety of roles including local policing, public order and firearms command and strategic partnerships.

In 2011 he joined the Metropolitan Police Service on promotion to superintendent.

During his time in the Metropolitan Police Service Peter had responsibility for more than 1,500 officers and staff as the Borough Commander for Westminster, where he led on a number of critical issues.

As a member of the Metropolitan Police Service Advanced Public Order Cadre Peter commanded in high risk and complex environments across London including mass protest, high profile football fixtures and ceremonial events.

Director of Support Services Mark Gilmartin (Kent Police and Essex Police)

Mark Gilmartin is responsible for the following services in both Kent Police and Essex Police:
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Estates
  • Business Centre
  • Procurement
  • Transport
  • IT
An economics and politics graduate, Mark Gilmartin has a Masters Degree and has previously worked for the Post Office and as a researcher in local government. He is professionally qualified in project management, programme management and management of risk. In 2010 he became a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
Mr Gilmartin was with Lancashire Police for more than 10 years, working in a variety of finance, IT and performance roles, before moving to the Audit Commission as a senior specialist on policing and criminal justice.
Joining Kent Police in October 2000, Mr Gilmartin was instrumental in preparing the force’s successful bid in response to the government’s 'Closing the Gap' proposals for police restructuring before joining Kent Police Authority as the Chief Executive, in April 2006.
He has been one of the key architects of the successful Kent and Essex collaboration programme which won a national value for money award in 2010.
Mr Gilmartin transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service as Director of Operational Resourcing where he had responsibility for a revenue budget in excess of £1.36 billion and more than 30,000 officers and staff.  
In February 2012 Mr Gilmartin took up his current post of Director of Kent and Essex Support Services and is responsible for Finance, HR, Transport, Property, Procurement and Business Service Centre across both forces.

Director of Human Resources Richard Leicester (Kent Police/Essex Police)

Richard Leicester is the Director of Human Resources and the Chief Officer lead on the development and delivery of strategic human resources and learning and development across both Kent Police and Essex Police.
Richard has overall strategic responsibility for:

  • the development and implementation of corporate people and learning strategies
  • the delivery of learning and development
  • recruitment and people resourcing
  • operational and strategic human resources delivery
  • occupational health services
  • talent management and people development
  • Performance Improvement Units

Richard successfully completed the Strategic Command Course (SCC) in 2018, is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has substantial experience of leading both generalist and specialist human resource related functions.