Thursday 31 December 2015

Changes To Access To The Police Treatment Centre

All Durham retired police officers have now been contacted by email or by letter from
me, to advise them that with effect from 1st January 2016 there will be a number of
significant changes to the way the Police Treatment Centres (which covers the
facilities at Castlebrae, Auchterarder and St Andrews, Harrogate) are to be funded.

PTC Trustees directed that from 1st January 2016, they will allow PCSOs, Special
Constables and Detention/Custody Officers (employed by the Chief Constable or
Police Crime Commissioner)to sign up to donate to the PTC, and that they will be
eligible to access treatment at either of their Centres.

Also the Trustees directed that the PTC will introduce a weekly donation rate of
£0.65 for Retired Officers from 1st January 2016, which they will be required to pay if
they wish to apply for treatment at the PTC.


Many retired colleagues have already signed up but this reminder is to those of you
who may wish to take action but have not yet done so.
Should you have any further questions then please feel free to contact the Police
Treatment Centre either on 01423 504448, via their website at the where further information about the facilities, the
changes and donation forms are all readily available.

I also wish to take this opportunity to wish all retired colleagues very best wishes for 2016

Margaret Toward
Welfare Officer

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Merry Xmas to all our readers

snowman12Yes it is that time of year already and our fifth Christmas of providing you with update information, topics and photographs.
We are delighted to let you know that our fame is certainly spreading, both on the web and in the Durham Peeler Magazine. We are now reaching Afghanistan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, U.S.A., Chile, Israel and even British West Hartlepool! You will be delighted to know that we have now had more than 360,000 ‘hits’ on the web page’s and over 200 regular recipients of death notifications of serving and retired officers.

If you’d like to join the list, let us have your email details,brief service details and specific points of interest. It always pays to be informed. (send email to :

If you have recently retired on pension, why not take up membership of N.A.R.P.O. and receive the Durham Peeler Magazine (Twice/year), the National NARPO News magazine  (4 times/ year) Social Events, really competitive Insurance rates  and opportunity to attend the 6 bi-monthly meeting where you enjoy a great atmosphere, meet old friends and colleagues and keep up to date with things that affect your pension.

This coming year will see a change of chairman as Alan Watson will be retiring from the post  at the Durham NARPO AGM on Monday 21st March 2016 (1930hrs) at Durham Indoor Bowling Club (Although he will still be very busy with ‘pen & paper’, preparing & publishing the Durham Peeler magazine). Hopefully we’ll have a good turnout at the AGM to show our appreciation to Alan for the many years of help & support he has provided to us & to welcome the new chairman into the post

To those who have sadly lost their loved ones this year we especially extend our deepest sympathy at this time of the year.
Here’s wishing you all a Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year,  may it be a prosperous, healthy and successful New Year. 

Saturday 19 December 2015

PCC & Chief Constable respond to funding statement

Mike BartonDurham Constabulary will receive a £0.4m reduction in Government funding next year.

Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg will be allocated £85.8m in 2016/17 to fund the force, which was deemed 'outstanding' at managing its resources in the last independent inspection.
Ron said: “Whilst this is better than expected it still means that we will see fewer officers and staff than we currently have.
“Not only are we having to pay for a nationally agreed pay award, which is welcome news for officers and staff, but we are also having to pay an extra £1.5m per year from next April to the Government towards the cost of increases in state pensions.
“Durham is at the pinnacle of policing and I would like to think that it will remain there despite a small reduction in Government funding.
“We are still committed to working with our partners to collaborate wherever possible to ensure money is spent wisely.
“I am pleased that the Chief Constable is continuing to make efficiencies where possible by challenging non-pay budgets and stripping out vacant posts where these are no longer needed so that we can both continue to focus on our priority areas.”

Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “We have been planning for the worst and hoping for the best. 
“This gives us a platform to build upon which I think is good news for the public and bad news for the criminals. 
“Rest assured that we will be able to continue providing high quality services, not just to the victims of crime but to others who need us. 
“That said, we still face the prospect of a further reduction from April 2017 because of changes in the way the Government allocates funding.
“We will be working with the Home Office to ensure any adverse impact is minimised in Durham.”

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Copper Plate Light… latest news from Durpol returns


It’s back… Copper Plate

With a new name of Copper Plate Light & a bi-monthly issue to keep you up to date with all the latest news from across the force.

Many Thanks to the Media team at HQ for producing the paper once more.

If you have any items which could be of intertest for the Copper Plate Light then please either ring the team at HQ on (0191) 3752157 or email at

To view the Copper Plate Light please click on the image

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt 1014 John Wright

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt 1014 John Wright who died on 8th December 2015 aged 81 years. Mr Wright served at Stanhope, Crook and Seaham during his career and retired from Durham Constabulary in 1980. The funeral will take place at 2 pm on Friday 18th December 2015 at Wear Valley Crematorium in Coundon. The service is not private. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Our thoughts are with the family and friends at this sad time.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

The Police Cadet 1973

A great video showing Police Cadets at the ‘new’ Police HQ, Aykley Heads in the early 70’s.

At the time the cadet school had approx. one hundred & fifty (150) cadets from Durham, Northumbria, Cleveland, North Yorkshire & Junior Firemen.

The cadets were residential in the five accommodation blocks, Finlay, Bede, Harwick, Lambton & Neville.

This film from the British Film Institute is titled ‘The Police Cadet 1973’ although the footage is actually from the early 70’s through to about 1974

From Britain on Film available at BFI Player

For those of you who live outside the UK or are trying to view on a smartphone or tablet please click on this link :


Tuesday 1 December 2015

Another one from Aycliffe

PC's Mick Wilson & Steve WildPC 267 Mick Wilson & PC Steve Wild in the parade room at Newton Aycliffe about 1988.

Nice radio in Mick’s pocket & the ‘old whistle & chain’ on display, shirt, tie & tunics …….

No computers… so plenty of paperwork in those days

Mick & Steve certainly don’t seem to be having a mid-life crisis like the mug says Smile

A fine British ‘Panda’ ??


Austin Allegro’s from the early 70’s

Any story's to tell about them ??

Used in Motorschool in 72 – 74 to teach some of us how to drive.

Bishop Auckland Open Day 1983

Alec Francis & Roy Smith - (AR40) Bishop Auckland 1983 Many Thanks to Roy Smith for sending the above photos which were both were taken in the rear yard at Bishop Auckland Police Office in October 1983 when the station threw open its doors for an open day.Officers in the  group photograph from the Traffic Department are L to R: Danny McKie, Roy Smith, Michael French, Alec Francis, Don Moody, Sgt Stuart Oakley, Dave Surtees, ? and finally Tommy Fortune (Motorcycles). The patrol car, was A687XCN a Ford Granada call sign Mike 20 Papa (M20P), formerly Alpha Red 40 (AR40)

Many Thanks to Roy Smith for sending the above photos which were both were taken in the rear yard at Bishop Auckland Police Office in October 1983 when the station threw open its doors for an open day.
Officers in the  group photograph from the Traffic Department are L to R:
Danny McKie (Motorcycles), Roy Smith, Michael French, Alec Francis, Don Moody, Sgt Stuart Oakley, Dave Surtees, Malcolm Magee and Tom Fortune (Motorcycles). (Click on the images to open them in the album)
The patrol car, was A687XCN a Ford Granada call sign Mike 20 Papa (M20P), formerly Alpha Red 40 (AR40)

Newton Aycliffe in the winter


An ‘old’ one from Newton Aycliffe Police office from about 1985 of PC Mick Kent, Sgt Steve Bell & WPC  Kate Field.

Nice to see the Christmas Tree & decorations in the background and that Kate has been out in the snow with her regulation torch tucked into her greatcoat….. happy days

Thanks to John Bardon for taking the photo and Arran Field for sending us the photo

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