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Kent Police is the territorial police force for Kentmarker in England, including the unitary authority of Medway.

Area and organisation

The force covers an area of with an approximate population of 1.647.100. The Chief Constable since 2004 is Michael Fuller QPM,the first black person in the UK to hold such a position.

Due to the Channel Tunnelmarker, Kent Police is unique among English forces in having a police station outside the country in Coquellesmarker, France, staffed by Kent officers. The cross channel traffic occasionally causes Kent Police and the Highways Agency to enforce Operation Stackmarker, controlling the freight flow on that part of the M20 motorway closest to the ports. Kent also has the largest amount of Strategic Road Network of any force in the UK, covering four motorways.

Proposals made by the Home Secretary on 20 March 2006 would see the force stay as a standalone strategic force for Kent and Medway. [220171]

Kent Police Authority has 9 councillors (7 from Kent County Council, and 2 from Medway Borough Council), 3 Justices of the Peace, and 5 independent members.

The Port of Dovermarker maintains their 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.

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 recognizable 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 Kent County at the time. The remaining nine were absorbed on 1 April 1943. Meanwhile, Ruxton retired on 14 August 1894, to die 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, 8 motorcycles had also been introduced, with 19 more were bought in 1931 along with one police car. The constabulary still employed horses until the last retired in 1943.

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.

Kent County Constabulary kept this name until the 1990s, when it changed its name to Kent Police, becoming the last British force to keep the word "county" in its official title.

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 (BCU)

• North Kent (Dartfordmarker, Gravesendmarker)

• South Kent (Folkestonemarker, Ashfordmarker)

• East Kent (Canterburymarker, Thanetmarker)

• West Kent (Tunbridge Wellsmarker, Tonbridgemarker, Cranbrookmarker, Sevenoaksmarker)

• Mid Kent (Maidstonemarker, Sheppeymarker, Sittingbournemarker, Favershammarker)

Medway (Stroodmarker, Rochestermarker, Chathammarker, Gillinghammarker, Rainhammarker)

(Reorganised areas from earlier 9 BCU structure to current 6 BCU structure, this was in response to calls for police force mergers and Kent's argument to remain a strategic stand-alone force)

See also


  1. Kent Police Museum - History
  2. The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965

External links

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