PC Mark Arjoo bids the force farewell after 30 years of dedicated service
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PC Mark Arjoo is bidding the force farewell after 30 years of dedicated service.
Born and bred in neighbouring Derbyshire to an English mum and Mauritian dad, he joined the force here in Leicestershire just shy of 20 years old, having always wanted to be a serving officer.
After passing out of training college, PC Arjoo was posted to Coalville, where he completed his two-year probationary period before moving to Ashby as a response officer in 1994.
A stint as a public order officer followed, policing many large events including demonstrations, marches, football matches, incidents of disorder and the odd Royal visit or two. In addition, he spent 12 months on the Tactical Support Group based at Force Headquarters, before returning to Ashby in 2003. The following year he became the Dedicated Neighbourhood Officer for Ashby de la Zouch, where he spent the next, 17 years.
He said: “I chose not to go to university as I wanted to try and get straight into the police service. It was always my ambition and my parents fully supported me. I did have two jobs prior to that – one in a book publishing company in the day, and then another in the evenings and weekends, working as a swimming teacher.”
PC Arjoo, whose last day with the force is Tuesday (15 February) said he had originally planned to join Derbyshire Police but a recruitment freeze meant he had to change his plans at the last minute. However, he added: “I’ve never regretted it for a moment.”
Asked what the highlights of his career are, PC Arjoo reals off a long list, starting with policing the G8 Summits in Birmingham and Gleneagles, Scotland, the Olympic Torch Relay through Leicester and the fantastic street party in Ashby to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
He goes on to add some Leicester City Champions League matches, and seeing the Queen and Prince Phillip in person during their visit to Leicester on Maundy Thursday. He also said he had the “honour” of laying a wreath at the 2021 Ashby Remembrance Day Parade.
“I’m very proud to have received my Long Service and Good Conduct medal in 2012, and to have been nominated for Leicestershire Beat Bobby of the Year in 2014. I’m also honoured to have been awarded both The Queen's Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals.
“There have been many moments to enjoy and celebrate over the years and there have been moments of extreme difficulty, such as the disorder in 2011 and the murder of Kayleigh Haywood, as well as losing two of my colleagues, Bryan Moore and Andy Munn in tragic circumstances. But I’m lucky enough to have had the support of colleagues, my parents, late grandfather and friends both within and outside the force who have helped me through.
“I feel incredibly lucky that I’ve had a good career, and although I've frequently had to deal with the negative side of life, I’ve met many fantastic people who have shown the good side of human nature.
“To anyone who has just joined or is thinking about joining the police, the advice I would give to them is that although it’s a tough job and you have to be resilient and remain grounded - remember that you are a member of the public doing the job of a police officer, be approachable, communicative and willing to listen, and treat everyone with respect, tolerance, and how you'd want to be treated.”
He added: “I always wanted to be a community bobby – it’s where my heart has always been. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people in my area, gaining their trust and helping to solve problems but I felt now was the right time to retire. I’m looking forward to walks in the Peak District and watching more cricket.”
Sergeant Nick Leeland from the North West Dedicated Neighbourhood Team has worked with Mark for many years and thanked him for his long and dedicated service.
He said: “Mark is well liked by his parishioners and has a brilliant relationship with them - he will be very much missed as the face of Ashby. I’ve known him for over 20 years and he is one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I wish him well in his retirement and for the future.”
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