Thursday 30 January 2014

Death of retired Police Officer : PC 744 Paul Smithson

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of retired Police Officer : PC 744 Paul Smithson, who died on the 17th January 2014 at home, he was aged 56 years.
Mr Smithson does not leave a widow, he leaves a brother Neil.
He joined Durham Constabulary on the 8th March 1976, serving within Traffic for most of his service and retired on pension on the 7th March 2006 after 30 years’ service.
After his retirement Mr Smithson spent 4 years in Greece he spent some of that time in Crete, he then moved to Spain where he lived in Oliva in Valencia.
The funeral service took place in a small town called Gandia, Spain on the 25th January 2014.
Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Cancer Research.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

Death of a retired Police Officer : Supt. Archiebold (Archie) Campbell

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer, Superintendent Archiebold (Archie) Campbell who died on the 26th January 2014 at Sutton Hall Nursing Home, Skipton, aged 92 years.
Mr Campbell served at various stations, including Hartlepool as an Inspector, retiring from Bishop Auckland on the 3rd December 1981
Mr Campbell does not leave a widow, but has a son, Tom.
The funeral service will be taking place at Waltonwrays Crematorium in Skipton on Wednesday 5th February at 11am, the service is not private.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Police Benevolent fund.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time

Friday 17 January 2014

Early cadet camp (1957) at Harperley–Who are they ??

Cadets at Harperley

These picture’s appeared in local paper’s on the 28th August 1957 and show the first Police Cadet Camp at Harperley Hall.

The title’s of the picture’s were ‘Training To Be Policeman’ & ‘Two Strong Pulls’

Can anybody recognize these cadets and did they become Policemen ??

If you click on the picture’s you’ll be able to view them in our photo gallery

Leave any comments below…

Many Thanks to Victor Brown for supplying the picture’s.

Cadets 1957

Thursday 16 January 2014

Police Federation Magazines

If you used to enjoy reading ‘Police’ the magazine of the Police federation then you can do it again by clicking on the link below which will take you top a new page on our website where we have provided you with links to the twelve issues from 2013.

We will try and keep this updated from now on so that you will be able to read the magazine on a monthly basis.

Enjoy reading the twelve issues from 2013 Smile

Click on this link :

Or on the homepage click on Federation

Roads policing officers hit lowest levels and vital skills are lost, says Federation

FederationThe crucial role roads policing officers play in tackling crime needs to be recognised by politicians as levels plummet to the lowest they have been in recorded history, according to Federation lead.

John Giblin spoke of his admiration for roads policing officers and the critical role they play at the National Roads Policing Conference held this week.

He told delegates: “The last year has seen another significant decrease in police finances and front line officers and we now have the fewest number of roads policing officers in England and Wales in recorded history.  Yet the pressure and demands to meet operational requirements and service front line policing needs is as demanding as ever.  The service is losing vital skills, experience and operational resilience that are not being replaced.”

The theme of the conference is technology and innovation and Mr Giblin John spoke of the importance of setting standards and using the best equipment to benefit roads policing nationally.

At the conference, Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, announced £120,000 in funding for station-based cannabis screening devices.

He added that a number of police forces will soon begin using to familiarise themselves with screening technology.“The new devices mean there will be no need to wait for a medical practitioner to advise whether a driver’s condition is the result of taking a drug. That will save time and money. We are also working to get mobile screening devices available.”

Mr Giblin said:  “We can catch more criminals, do more preventative work, gather more vital intelligence and apply that to front line policing if we could harness better co-ordinated equipment use and then make sure we operate it in a consistent way.”
He added: “Policing the roads is a serious, high public profile business and deserves far better understanding from some Chief Officers, PCC's, politicians and HMIC for what it does in keeping the public safe.”

Last year a roads policing officer on duty in South Yorkshire stopped a vehicle on the M1 using ANPR technology, which identified the vehicle as being uninsured.  That stop resulted in the arrest of a number of highly dangerous men intent on causing serious harm to communities through terrorist activity and they were subsequently jailed for long prison terms. 

He also addressed conference on the significant progress that has been made in the last 12 months in relation to managing and handling police pursuits.

Mr Giblin spoke of his respect and admiration for all roads policing officers who on average deal with the trauma and consequences of five deaths per day and twice as many serious injuries on our roads.  

He added:  “These incidents have an unimaginable impact on close family members and friends of the victims, yet police officers are also badly affected by what they have to deal with.  Road collisions require huge amounts of dedicated police time to investigate and support the victims.  Road closures cause untold chaos and expense to the economy, yet it's never ever mentioned by Home Office Ministers as an important role in modern policing.  Policing is not all about crime.  It’s also about dealing with tragedy and no more is that evidenced than by 2000 deaths on our roads each year.”

Friday 10 January 2014

Death of former Special Constable : John Hart

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of former Special Constable John Hart, who died in hospital after a long illness  on 1st January 2014, aged 65 years
John was a Special Constable in the Durham Constabulary between  1977 and 2001 and was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Special Constabulary
Funeral  Service at St. Stephens Church, Low Willington, on Monday 13th January at 1.00pm,  followed by Private family cremation and afterwards at Willington Cricket Club
John is survived by a widow Susan, daughter Amanda and son Tony together with four grand children
Family flowers only donations in lieu to the Haematology unit North Durham University Hospital

Calling All Women Police: BBC Series on 100 Years of Women in the Police

I work for Matchlight, an award-winning independent television production company based in Glasgow. We are currently developing a landmark BBC television series which aims to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of women in the police force. I would like to speak to retired police women who might be interested in taking part in the series.

As well as celebrating how far women have come, we will aim to reveal the obstacles that have been overcome, meet some of the key players, narrate their struggles and mark the moments that changed, not only individual lives, but the face of the police force forever. We hope to interview women at all levels of the police – some retired and some currently serving – on the beat, in specialist roles, in ACPO and in the frontline of modern policing – to reveal and celebrate how far women have come in the past century.

I am therefore very interested in speaking to retired police women about their experiences and how they think policing has changed over the course of their careers. The films will explore sex crimes, violence and danger and detection. I’d be particularly interested to talk to any female pioneers who were the first of their generation to take on new role such as early detectives, dog handlers etc. I would also be fascinated to hear from women who worked in the Women's Department. 

Our ambition for this project would be to work closely with NARPO to mark this important moment in the history of the police and to make an enlightening documentary series revealing, above all, what a vital role women now play in policing modern Britain. 

If you would like to find out more and are potentially interested in taking part please contact me on 07917 458 977 or email me at

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Alpha Red 69

Norman Hughes Red 69 1984

One sent in by retired PC 1049 Norman Hughes from 1984.

Taken in Durham Police Yard in front of the old CID office,  of Norman on his Honda F2, Alpha Red 69.

Leather Boots, trousers, gloves and ‘protective’ uniform tunic !!

Thirty Five Years Later….

Many Thanks to Ray Dinning who came up with these two interesting photo’s when ‘trawling’ through some old files

Tom Farmer & Ray Dinning-1950 001

Taken in the Communications Room of the Old Chester-le-Street Police Station in 1950 and is of Police Constable Tom Farmer and Cadet Ray Dinning

Tom Farmer & Ray Dinning 001

Taken at Police Headquarters, Aykley Heads in the Deputy Chief Constables Office in 1985 when Tom Farmer was in the position of Deputy Chief Constable and Ray Dinning was in the position of Assistant Chief Constable

Friday 3 January 2014

Death of retired Police Officers : Northumbria (Ex Durham)


I have been informed of the death of the following retired officers:

Leo Grant, aged 73 years, from Chester le Street. Leo died on the 27th December and the service is at St Patricks Church, Consett at 10.00a.m. on Friday 10th January, 2014 followed by cremation at Mountsett Crematorium at 11.15a.m. on the same day.  He was a Durham officer transferring to Northumbria on amalgamation.  He served at Washington and with the Mounted Section.  He leaves a widow, Sheila.  I do not have his date of retirement as a Constable.

Ronald Kell, aged 92 years, from Marton in Cleveland.  Ron died on 28th December and the service is at 1.35p.m. on Thursday 9th January, 2014 at St Hilda's Chapel, Teesside Crematorium.  Ron was also a Durham officer who transferred to Northumbria.  he retired as Chief Superintendent at Sunderland in 1976 and received a Q.P.M. in the birthday honours of that year. He leaves a widow, Joyce.

Many Thanks to Alan Tailford of Northumbria NARPO for the information

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Cadets from 1964–1966 ??

Showing John Parish, Tommy Douthwaite and unnamed D.C. with the cup.<br /><br />(Photo courtesy of Mike Chambers)

We added this photo, taken in 1973 to our ‘Those were the (Durham NARPO)days…’ album some time ago and the two uniformed officers were named as John Parish & Tommy Douthwaite and the DC was not known.

We received the message below from the DC’s son

“Photo 70 of 200 odd in your "Those were the days" album, Un-named DC in a perm with FA Cup. The DC is my Dad -  Ian Fox.
He would love to meet and get in contact with any guys of 1964-5-6 cadet vintage. Has no email/mobile etc so has fallen out of touch with the boys, please contact me :
If there is a list of former cadets to send this round I'd be grateful.
Kind regards

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