Durham Constabulary

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Durham Constabulary
Logo of the Durham Constabulary
Agency overview
Formed 1839
Employees 2,910[1]
Volunteers 126[1]
Annual budget £112.3 million[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of County Durham and Darlington in the country of England, UK
England Police Forces (Durham).svg
Map of police area
Size 2,232 km²
Population 595,308
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
Constituting instrument Police Act 1996
General nature
Operational structure
Constables 1,362 (of which 76 are special constables)[2]
Police Community Support Officers 162[1]
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible Ron Hogg, (L)
Agency executive Michael Barton, Chief Constable
Basic Command Units North Area (Durham)
South Area (Darlington)
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Durham Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing the non-metropolitan county of County Durham and the unitary authority of Darlington. The force covers the 2,232 km² of the county which has a resident population of 595,308. It is one of the smaller forces of the 43 territorial police forces that service England and Wales. Durham is Home Office force 11.

Durham Constabulary is managed by Chief Constable Michael Barton[3] and his Executive Team, comprising Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks, Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Dave Orford and Assistant Chief Officer Gary Ridley.[4]

The force operates through a number of functional commands: Neighbourhood Policing, Response Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice, Tasking and Co-ordination and Support Services, which all report to the Executive Team.

Since 2010 Durham Constabulary and neighbouring Cleveland Police have shared road policing and firearms teams through a joint Specialist Operations Unit. These officers are based at Wynyard Park Business Park and Spennymoor.[5] Durham and Cleveland Police have shared a Tactical Training Centre in Urlay Nook, near Durham Tees Valley Airport, since 2001.

Durham Constabulary actively take part in a neighbour hood watch scheme led by PCSO Timothy Thompson. A neighbourhood watch app is currently in early stages of development.


Durham Constabulary was one of the first county police forces to be set up, built in 1839. The force absorbed Durham City Police (formed in 1836) in 1921, Hartlepool Borough Police (formed in 1851) in 1947, Sunderland Borough Police (formed in 1837) in 1967, and Gateshead Borough Police (formed in 1836) and South Shields Borough Police (formed in 1839) in 1968, when it also lost some of its area to Teesside Constabulary.

In 1965, the force had an establishment of 1,763 and an actual strength of 1,626.[6]

Under the Local Government Act 1972, in 1974, the northern area of the force (including Gateshead, Sunderland and South Shields) became part of Northumbria Police, with Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees in the south-east going to Cleveland Constabulary

Officers killed in the line of duty[edit]

The Police Roll of Honour Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty. The Police Memorial Trust since its establishment in 1984 has erected over 38 memorials to some of those officers.

Since 1960 the following officers of Durham Constabulary were killed while attempting to prevent or stop a crime in progress:[7]

  • PC Keith Maddison, 1997 (collapsed and died while pursuing suspects from a stolen vehicle)
  • DC James Brian Porter, 1982 (shot dead by two armed robbers, posthumously awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct)
  • PC Glenn Russel Corder, 1980 (his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit)
  • PC William Ralph Shiell, 1940 (shot dead by burglars)
  • PC Matthew Walls Straughan, 1927 (shot dead by a suspect)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/performance-and-measurement/performance-assessment/assessments-2007-2008/durham
  2. ^ "Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2013". HM Government. Office for National Statistics. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Police and crime commissioner elections: Durham". BBC News. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "About Us". Durham Constabulary. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Forces agree single firearms teams". Cleveland Police. 5 April 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  6. ^ The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  7. ^ http://www.policememorial.org.uk/index.php?page=durham-constabulary

External links[edit]

Video clips[edit]