A POLICE officer with 40 years’ service has hung up his helmet and baton for the last time.
PC Kevin Lowe, spent 39 years serving Derbyshire, spending the last few years as a member of the Tideswell and Area Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team.
He moved to Derbyshire from Birkenhead in 1978 to become a bobby on the beat in Bakewell and also spent 17 years as a roads policing officer.
In April 2007, he set up Operation Blackbrook to target off-road vehicles and motorbikes in the Peak District.
As part of his campaign PC Lowe brought together off-roaders and concerned residents and local agencies to discuss the issues and encourage a more responsible use of the park.
Within the first year of the operation, complaints about off-road biking reduced from 77 to 27.
PC Lowe received recognition for his work in May this year, when he was named Community Police Officer of the Year.
He said: “In the early days you had to walk everywhere, everything was written by hand with not a computer in sight. My first radio was in two parts, one to speak into and the other to listen from.
“We were also issued with the traditional wooden baton and a whistle - a far cry from the technology and personal protection equipment that officers have today.
“I have had many experiences throughout my career, some joyous and some very sad.
“I have always done my very best to deliver the highest possible police service to everyone. I wish to thank all the people in the village communities that I have served and for their continued support.
“While I will be sad to leave my team mates behind, it is my time to go but I would like to pay tribute to the young men and women who remain as police officers and staff in Derbyshire.
“I wish them all the best of luck for the future and that they all stay safe.”
Inspector Bryan Hall, in charge of policing in the Derbyshire Dales, said: “Kevin was always a highly motivated officer with a strong sense of duty, integrity and fairness.
“He put his heart and soul into the job and always tried his best to deal with problems to the best of his ability.”