Durham Constabulary

As one of the top-performing police forces in the UK, Durham Constabulary pride themselves on doing things differently, and doing them well.

The Chief Constable

Jo Farrell

Jo Farrell joined Northumbria Police in 2002 as a Chief Inspector, having previously served within Cambridgeshire Constabulary. In total, she has 25 years policing service.

As an Assistant Chief Constable at Northumbria, she had responsibility for response and neighbourhood policing as well as the communications department. She was also the force lead for mental health matters.

Her service profile within the police is extensive and varied, working predominantly within operational and neighbourhood duties.

Jo has also performed specialist public order and firearms duties, completing the Gold Commander’s course in both fields, and in January 2013 she completed the Strategic Command Course. She has extensive experience in the strategic management of high profile events and critical incidents and took up her post as DCC in Durham in mid-November 2016.

“I was delighted to join the team at Durham. I relish the challenge of becoming the Deputy Chief Constable and will work to ensure the constabulary continues to deliver a top quality service to the communities of Durham and Darlington.”

She is married to a retired police officer and has two stepsons and a daughter. Away from work, Mrs Farrell enjoys family life, cooking and keeping fit.

Deputy Chief Constable

Ciaron Irvine

Born in Liverpool, Ciaron Irvine initially moved to the North-East to study at Durham University prior to joining the police service in 1994.  

His family has strong links with policing over many generations, with many of his close relatives serving as police officers or elsewhere in public service as health professionals.

He said: “I am proud to continue that family tradition and especially proud to be doing so in Durham with this role in the Constabulary”.Ciaron has worked in mainly uniform and specialist operations/support roles, including time as Head of the force Control Room, Criminal Justice and as a District Commander for Redcar & Cleveland.

As a Chief Superintendent in Cleveland, he set up the Force Tasking & Coordination Command, learning lessons from the Durham model at the time.  In that role he had responsibility for daily operational tasking, the management of intelligence and force performance.

More recently, Ciaron served as Temporary Assistant Chief Constable both in Cleveland and North Yorkshire, prior to his posting as Cleveland’s lead for Business Services, having completed the Strategic Command Course in 2018.

He is an accredited firearms, public order and multi-agency gold commander with experience of major public and sporting events at all levels.He added: “In all my leadership roles I have always sought to ensure that we deliver the best possible service to our communities alongside taking a keen interest in the welfare and wellbeing of our staff”.

Assistant Chief Constable

Tonya Antonis

Tonya Antonis, joined Durham Constabulary after previously holding the post of Chief Superintendent with Suffolk Constabulary. Tonya has held a variety of roles in policing, for much of her 26-career she has specialised in Safeguarding, managing a number of high-profile investigations into Child Abuse; Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Children; Adult Abuse; Honour Base Abuse; Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking.

Tonya joined Suffolk Constabulary in 1996 and has served her entire policing career to date with the East Anglian force, first in uniformed roles and then as a detective. Alongside her Safeguarding roles, she has previously held the role of County Policing Commander, with a background in public order, and has worked in both Cyber and Intelligence. Tonya has a keen interest in diversity in policing and played a key role in the recent National Policing Uplift Programme, where she helped devise and design the nationally-adopted Diversity, Equality and Inclusion strategy to bring under-represented groups into the service.

Assistant Chief Officer

Gary Ridley

Gary Ridley was born in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear.  He worked at Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council between 1985 and 1996 in a variety of roles in the Finance Department and Chief Executive’s Department.  During his time there he completed two accountancy courses including the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy.

He then worked at Castle Morpeth Council in Northumberland as Assistant Borough Treasurer for 10 months before joining Wear Valley Council as Head of Finance in 1997.  He became Strategic Director of Resource Management in 2001 at Wear Valley where he played a leading role in the management of the council.  He also led the Councils 2008 Comprehensive Performance Assessment process during which the council was awarded an “excellent” rating.  In May 2008, Gary became Acting Chief Executive of Wear Valley Council.

Gary joined Durham Constabulary on 12 January 2009 as Assistant Chief Officer with responsibility for Finance, ICT, Estates, Business Support and Personnel and Development.  He completed an MBA at Newcastle University in 2010.

The Policing Protocol

The Policing Protocol Order 2011 (statutory instrument) came into force on 16 January 2012 and extends to England and Wales.

The Protocol sets out how the new policing governance arrangements will work. It clarifies the role and responsibilities of police and crime commissioners, the mayor’s office for policing and crime, chief constables, police and crime panels and the London assembly police and crime panel.

It outlines what these bodies are expected to do and how they should work together to fight crime and improve policing.

Download the Policing Protocol document.
Durham Police Crest

Strategic Policing Requirement

The Home Secretary has issued the strategic policing requirement (SPR). This replaces the non-statutory shadow SPR the Home Secretary issued in November 2011. Section 77 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 requires the Home Secretary to issue a strategic policing requirement.

Police and crime commissioners and chief constables will be required to have regard to the SPR in exercising their respective roles. It focuses on those areas where the government has a responsibility for ensuring that sufficient capabilities are in place to respond to serious and cross-boundary criminality and in support of the work of national agencies such as the National Crime Agency.

It does not cover areas where chief constables and police and crime commissioners are able to make effective local risk assessments.

Download the Strategic Policing Requirement document.

Financial Management Code of Practice

The Financial Management Code of Practice for the police service has been presented to Parliament. The Code is the last of three key documents which make up the framework for new policing accountability arrangements coming into force in November 2012.

The other two documents - the Policing Protocol and Strategic Policing Requirement - were published at the end of 2011.

Download the Financial Management Code of Practice document.

Local Governance Arrangements

Governance is about how the Police and Crime Commissioner's Officer ensures they are doing things right, in a timely, inclusive, open and accountable manner.

This Code of Corporate Governance describes how we discharge our responsibilities in this respect, and particularly our two overarching statutory responsibilities:

  • To secure an efficient and effective local police service; and
  • To hold to account the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary for the exercise of his functions and those of persons under his direction and control.

Details of the Local Governance Arrangements will be made available in this section in due course.