Durham Constabulary

Durham Constabulary
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 Durham 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
Governing body Durham Police Authority
Constituting instrument Police Act 1996
General nature
Operational structure
Constables 1,758 (of which 126 are special constables)[1]
Police Community Support Officers 162[1]
Agency executive Jon Stoddart, Chief Constable
Basic Command Units North Area
South Area
* 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 forty-three territorial police forces that service England and Wales. Durham is Home Office force 11.

Durham Constabulary is divided into two areas:

Under proposals made by the Home Secretary on February 6, 2006, it would merge with Northumbria Police and Cleveland Police to form a single strategic police force for the North East England.[2] In July 2006, the plans to merge Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria were scrapped.

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 Cleveland's base at Wynyard Park Business Park and Durham's station in Spennymoor.[3] Durham and Cleveland Police have shared a Tactical Training Centre in Urlay Nook, near Durham Tees Valley Airport, since 2001.



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.[4]

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

On 26 October 2006, the force announced that a £10 million financial deficit means it may have to cut more than 300 police officers by 2009.[5]

Officers killed in the line of duty

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

Since 1900 the following officers of Durham Constabulary were killed while attempting to prevent or stop a crime in progress:[6]

  • 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


External links

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