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.

Tim Smith is responsible for:

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



Tim Smith has over 28 years police service all served within Kent and Essex Police, with the exception of a short secondment to South Australia Police in 2009. Tim has served in uniform local policing roles; however the majority of his service has been in detective roles both in local policing and specialist roles including major crime, serious and organised crime, public protection and special branch. Tim is also an accredited and experienced Senior Firearms Commander.

Tim’s current role is Deputy Chief Constable. Prior to this, Tim’s most previous roles were ACC for the Serious Crime Directorate and Divisional Commander for North Kent, a Division encompassing the main urban areas of Kent bordering London.

Tim has led complex and large scale investigations, most notably in 2006 he was one of the SIOs for the Securitas robbery, the largest ever peacetime cash robbery, where he led the day to day enquires including covert investigations for some 8 months. More recently Tim has led an EU funded project to roll out internet child protection tools to all 28 EU member states, as well as several other countries around the world.

Tim has a passion for criminal investigation and previously performed the role of Head of Crime for the Force, during which time he helped develop the current policing model aimed at improving the force’s response to vulnerable people.

Ian Drysdale is the Deputy Chief Officer and responsible for the direction, control and enhancement of all non-operational support functions.

Working alongside the Deputy Chief Constable, Ian 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.

Key responsibilities include the functions discharged by:

  • The Director of Support Services
  • The Director of Human Resources
  • The Director of Corporate Communications
  • The Head of Legal Services
  • The Head of Corporate Services
  • The Head of the Strategic Change

Ian is professionally qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) and has a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). A former Director of HR and a lead for Organisational and Development and Change – he has held many senior management positions in a policing career spanning 30 years.

Ian graduated from the Strategic Command Course in 2011.

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.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable for Central Operations, Nikki Faulconbridge, has responsibility for Tactical Operations, Force Control and Incident Response (FCIR) and Counter Terrorism and Borders Policing (CTBP). She is also the strategic lead for significant county operations. 

Joining Kent Police in December 2000 from the ambulance service she was initially posted to West Division where she worked in uniform before moving to CID and gaining her detective accreditation.

During her career she has worked in a number of detective and uniform roles on both West and North Divisions as well as the FCIR and at force headquarters.

She took up her current position on 11 October 2019, having previously worked as T/ACC for Local Policing from November 2018.

A firearms commander since 2007, she holds the Specialist SFC accreditation - enabling her to command high threat and terrorism related firearms incidents as well as being a Gold Public Order commander for Kent Police.

Having completed a BSc in Applied Criminal Investigation while doing her detective accreditation, she went on to complete a Masters Degree in International Criminal Justice via distance learning with the University of Portsmouth. Nikki has been Chair of the Kent Police Recreation Association for 4 years.

Tom Richards took up the position of Temporary Assistant Chief Constable on 7 December 2020 as the Head of the Serious Crime Directorate for Kent and Essex Police.

Tom joined Kent Police in 1992 working in a variety of roles including Local Policing, Special Branch, SCD and Public Protection and Partnerships. In the main he has performed detective roles and has particular experience in Serious and Organised Crime, Covert Law Enforcement and Counter Terrorism.

As a chief superintendent Tom has worked as the Head of Public Protection, the East Division Commander and until recently was the Deputy Head of SCD across both Kent Police and Essex Police.

Tracey is: 

  • an accredited and experienced strategic firearms commander
  • gold public order commander
  • accredited senior investigating officer
  • authorising officer.

She is the Assistant Chief Constable in command of the Kent Police and Essex Police Serious Crime Directorate. Before this she was divisional commander for West Essex, a local policing area encompassing

  • Thurrock
  • Epping Forest
  • Brentwood and
  • Harlow 

policing urban areas bordering London as well as the rural areas of Epping Forest.

Tracey has led complex and large-scale investigations including child and stranger homicides, complex child abuse investigations and dismantling organised criminal networks. She has been the force lead for serious violence, directing the knife crime and serious violence response following Home Office funding. She has been the investigative lead for high profile visits to the region, such as that of the President of the United States to Stansted and was silver commander for the first 72 hours of the investigation into the deaths of 39 Vietnamese nationals in Thurrock.

Mark Gilmartin is responsible for the following services in both Kent Police and Essex Police:
  • Procurement
  • IT
  • Pensions
  • Finance (Essex)
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.

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
  • Business Services

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.

Gavin McKinnon became Director of Corporate Communications in July 2010.

Mr McKinnon served in the British Army in Northern Ireland from 1989 as part of the 1st/9th Battalion Ulster Defence Regiment and 9th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment CGC. He then became a police officer with the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC (later the Police Service of Northern Ireland), serving through until 2010 when he came to Kent Police from the National Policing Improvement Agency (now known as the College of Policing).

Rising to the rank of Chief Superintendent, Mr McKinnon held a number of national roles in policing including senior police legal advisor to the President of ACPO (now known as the national Police Chief's Council), Deputy Director in the Police Reform Unit at the Home Office, Director of Crime and Justice at a leading think-tank, and leading the UK Home Office’s Department of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. He has led on a diverse range of policing communications including the programme to establish the Police Service of Northern Ireland following the Patten Review, the establishment of the National Policing Improvement Agency, and UK-wide anti-street crime and burglary campaigns amongst others.

In July 2016 Mr McKinnon started a two-year career break to work in the private sector, leading the Regulatory Affairs team of the world’s largest oil company, which is based in Saudi Arabia. He returned to Kent Police as Director of Corporate Communications and Citizens in Policing in July 2018.

Mr McKinnon holds degrees in Law, Criminology and Counter-terrorism, and is a graduate of the US Senior Management Institute for Police as well as the Bramshill Senior Leadership Development Programme.

In addition to his regular role, since 2012 Mr McKinnon has served as Chief Officer of the Kent Special Constabulary which, in 2014, became the first special constabulary to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award for volunteering in the UK.

Outside work he has been an author of the police promotion manuals and the National Investigators’ Exam manual since 2006.