A former Haverfordwest schoolboy is set to complete his rise to the top by becoming one of the highest serving police officers in the country.

Alan Pughsley begins his role as the new Chief Constable of Kent Police on Saturday 4 January, when he succeeds Ian Learmonth, who is retiring after serving in the force for 40 years.

Mr Pughsley said: “I am absolutely delighted and privileged to be offered the position of Chief Constable. This force is the best I have ever worked in and to be given the opportunity to lead it after Mr Learmonth is an honour.’”

Born and raised in Haverfordwest Mr Pughsley was a pupil at the town’s former grammar school, as well as both Tasker Milward and Sir Thomas Picton schools.

A keen sportsman, Mr Pughsley represented football and rugby teams, both at local and county level, before his career took him to the Metropolitan Police Service in 1984.

With expertise in murder investigations, armed robbery, kidnap, firearms and drug related crimes Mr Pughsley joined Kent Police in April 2009 as Assistant Chief Constable for specialist operations. In this role he headed up the joint Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, before he was made Deputy Chief Constable.

Now 48 years old and married to Jo, with two children Ieuan and Victoria, Mr Pughsley still finds the time to visit the area where he grew up.

He said: ‘I’m enormously proud of my Welsh heritage. I travel to Pembrokeshire as often as I can to see my parents Terry and Vanda and it remains a fantastic and beautiful county to live in. Whenever my family visit we always get a wonderful reception from the people we meet.’