Long-serving staff member retires after 50 years of service
Main article content
After 50 years of service, Case and File Preparation Supervisor, John Norman will be retiring from Leicestershire Police.
John said: “There have only been eleven Chief Constables since Leicestershire Police was founded in 1839. Realising I’d worked for seven of them, I knew it was time to go!”
John joined the force as a Police Cadet in 1969, 12 days before his sixteenth birthday. He said: “A careers master came into our school at the time and asked what I wanted to do with my life. The first thing that came into my head was a Police Officer!
“Just weeks later I received the application form in the post and then a letter inviting me for an interview.”
An avid Leicester City fan and season ticket holder, John’s interview to join the police cadets happened to fall on the same day as the FA Cup Final at Wembley on 26 April 1969, for which John had a ticket.
He said: “I wasn’t going to go to the interview, preferring to go to Wembley with my mates. If it wasn’t for my mum who got the letter out of the bin and insisted I went for the interview, my whole career would have been very different!”
John spent three years in the Cadets before being sworn in as a Constable in August 1972, and then undergoing 13 weeks of training at Ryton-on-Dunsmore. Initially being posted to Charles Street, John was told by his first Sergeant, ‘you need two things to be a half decent copper, common sense and the ability to talk to people. If you haven’t got both then you’ve got no chance son’.
During his career, John has performed in a number of roles, all but the first four years being in plain clothes. In 1976 he then went on to work in what was known as the Vice Squad, before later joining the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
He later transferred as a Detective Constable to Wigston, where, amongst a number of other major enquiries, he worked in partnership with West Yorkshire Police on a nationwide series of armed robberies, resulting in 20 year prison terms for a number of offenders. As a result of this work, John received three of his six commendations.
He said: “One of my proudest moments was being appointed as the country’s first resident Prison Investigations Officer in 1996 and having my own set of keys to Glen Parva Prison.”
In 2002 John hung up his boots as an officer and started his career within Criminal Justice, where he currently serves as a Case and File Preparation Supervisor, managing a team of File Quality Advisors, liaising with the CPS.
After 50 years of police life, John is looking forward to booking a trip to New Zealand to watch the England cricket team on tour with one of his oldest friends, Phil, who he has known from his cadet years in 1969.
“It always sounds like a cliché, but I have genuinely enjoyed every bit of my fifty years in the job. I always said I wanted to leave whilst I was still enjoying it, and I am.
“I have worked with some incredible people and I have forged some genuine lasting friendships. Despite all of the problems and issues, it is still the best job in the world and I am so grateful my mother made me go to that interview fifty years ago.
“If I’ve got any advice it would be that it’s better to aim high and fail than to aim low, succeed, and settle for mediocrity.”