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

Dave Orford

After growing up in County Durham, Dave attended Manchester University gaining a degree in physics before being commissioned into the Royal Engineers. After leaving the Army he joined his home force in 1995 as a police constable at Consett. Dave has worked in all response and neighbourhood ranks across the county from Peterlee, to Darlington to Bishop Auckland.

He also spent time in specialist roles within Firearms Operations, Training and Professional Standards. This included heading up the joint firearms training facility with Cleveland Police.

In 2014 Dave was successful at the Senior Police National Assessment Centre for chief officer selection, and was appointed as Assistant Chief Constable in July 2014. In August 2019 he was appointed as Deputy Chief Constable.

Dave is very keen on mountain sports and can often be found on his mountain bike in the summer and skis in the winter.

Assistant Chief Constable

John Ward

John joined Durham Constabulary in 2016 having served for 24 years with Cleveland Police. He has spent the majority of his career in investigative roles, working in CID, Major Crime, Organised Crime and the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit. He attained Senior Investigating Officer accreditation in 2010.

John has led on numerous complex serious crime investigations over the years including travelling abroad to work with the Portuguese Judicial Police in 2011. He currently holds the NPCC portfolio for CrimeStoppers and is also a Strategic Firearms Commander. He has a First Class BA Honours in Leadership and Management from Teesside University.

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 Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner 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.