Friday 23 December 2016

Merry Xmas

snowman12Yes it is that time of year already and our sixth 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 545,000 ‘hits’ on the web page’s and over 300 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 year has seen a change of chairman as long standing chairman Alan Watson retired from the post at the Durham NARPO AGM in March (Although he still is very busy with ‘pen & paper’, preparing & publishing the Durham Peeler magazine). Vice Chairman Ray Jones took over Chairman.

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.

Durham Branch Committee have recently agreed to move our AGM from March to January
(to align with H.Q. financial Year.)

Monday 9th January, 2017 7.30pm Durham Indoor Bowling Centre (Annual General Meeting)
Monday 13th March, 2017 7.30pm Durham Indoor Bowling Club
Monday 8th May, 2017 7.30pm Bishop Auckland Hospital Social Club
Monday 10th July, 2017 7.30pm Bishop Auckland Hospital Social Club
Monday 4th Sept., 2017 7.30pm Bishop Auckland Hospital Social Club
Monday 13th Nov., 2017 7.30pm Durham Indoor Bowling Club

Durham Indoor Bowling Club: Rylands Way, Pity Me, Durham. DL14 6TZ Tel. No. 0191 3840700
Bishop Auckland Hospital Club: 32, Escomb Road, Bishop Auckland. DL14 6TZ Tel. 01388662336

Thursday 15 December 2016

To quote Bob Dylan… ‘The Times They Are A Changin’

All new police officers in England and Wales will have to be educated to degree level from 2020, the College of Policing has announced.
It said the training would help address changes in crime-fighting.
Prospective officers can either complete a three-year "degree apprenticeship", a postgraduate conversion course or a degree.
The National Police Chiefs' Council said the changes would "help modernise the service".
'Patrolling online'
The college's Chief Constable Alex Marshall said the feeling was the nature of police work has changed significantly and officers were just as likely to be "patrolling online" as on the street.
"Cyber-enabled crime has increased," he said, "So has the need for officers and staff to investigate and gather intelligence online and via information technology."
He also said protecting vulnerable people has become a "high priority", with officers now spending more of their time working to prevent domestic abuse, monitor high-risk sex offenders and protect at-risk children.
Even investigating a pub fight - which used to mean interviewing the victim, perpetrator and the bar staff - now also extends to researching videos, pictures and comments published online.
But retired police officer Norman Brennan, who served 31 years in London and now campaigns for police protection, said degrees came "at the bottom of the priority list" for police.
He said: "The only degree a police officer needs is a degree of common sense - they'll learn on the job.
"The public don't care about police having degrees. They want someone competent, caring and capable."
Policing degree: the changes

The College of Policing, which is responsible for setting standards of ethics and training for the police service, is in talks with 12 universities about running the degree courses.
The syllabus is likely to cover the law, safeguarding the vulnerable, understanding how an officer behaves on the street and how to build trust by interacting well with communities.
There will be three options at entry level:
A three-year police constable degree apprenticeship paid for by the force, allowing individuals to "earn while they learn" - spending 80% of their time on the frontline, and the rest completing their degree while receiving a salary
A practical policing degree, as seen in other professions, where the student would complete a three-year self-funded course and apply for a job once qualified
For graduates, a six-month postgraduate conversion course funded by the police
Other changes to be introduced include:
A national set of qualifications for officers following promotion, for example in skills such as management and leadership
A requirement for officers applying to be assistant chief constable or above to have a master's degree - to be paid for by their police force
The college plans to publish a directory of education qualifications for officers and staff next summer, with guidance as to how their on-the-job experience counts and what funding might be available to support them.
There are currently no standard recruitment requirements for officers across the 43 forces in England and Wales.
Some forces accept officers with Level 2 qualifications (A-C grade GCSEs), while others insist on Level 5 (diplomas or foundation degrees).
But Emma Williams, deputy director at the Canterbury Centre for Policing Research, said it was about formalising the training police already receive: "This is not about saying police are not already professionals. There's the assumption that police officers aren't academic but I'm not sure that's true."
Currently, 38% of those going into policing already have a degree or post-graduate qualification (Level 6).
Ms Williams, who is working with the College of Policing on the new qualifications, said the police would continue to provide practical training, while academics might focus on evidence-based policing and criminology.
The money for the apprenticeships, due to be introduced next year, is expected to come from a new 0.5% apprenticeship levy on all employers with a wage bill of more than £3m.
'Fair and right'
The announcement follows a two-month public consultation which received more than 3,000 responses, almost 80% of which were from police officers.
The majority were keen to gain accreditation for their existing skills, Mr Marshall said.
Police officers of all ranks account for 124,066 of the 200,922 people employed by police forces in England and Wales, official statistics show. Some 4,735 officers joined the forces last year, accounting for 4% of all officers.
The new qualification rules will not impact on current officers, unless they apply for a promotion to assistant chief constable or above.
Andy Fittes, general secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales, welcomed the move to accredit qualifications to serving officers, and supported the idea of a framework that might standardise courses.
However he questioned the implementation of the training, given the "immense demands" being placed on the service.
Chief Constable Giles York, the National Police Chiefs Council lead for workforce, said the scheme would "improve our ability to attract and retain really good people"
He added that it was "fair and right" that officers receive the recognition and accreditation they deserve as professionals

Dishforth Police Training Centre, Yorkshire, 1967

Dishforth 1967

Dishforth Police Training Centre, Yorkshire, 1967.
Student Police officers from constabularies far and wide - from the top left -Steve Hargest (Gloscester)  J.D.Brooks (Leeds) Roger Fry (Bristol) Haymer (South Shields)  John Hodge (Northumberland)  Pete Collins (Lincolnshire)  Dave Carrington (West Riding Yorkshire)  Clifford (Durham County)  Paul Green (Durham County)  Harry Moore (Hull City)  J.S.Gorman (Middlesborough)  Elizabeth Baty ( Lincolnshire)  Doyle (Hull)  R. Hayward unreadable (West Rising Yorkshire) Pamela J. Rymer (West Riding Yorkshire)  Alice L Copthorne (West Riding Yorkshire)  Linda Steele ( Lincolnshire)  Elizabeth Beall (Sheffield and Rotherham,  Alan Cowie ( Newcastle City Police.
Many Thanks to Roger Fry (Bristol) for sharing this photo

A walk down memory lane

B342OPY DC Wrecker A278BJR

A few of the vehicles used by Durham Constabulary over the years. To view more photos of ‘the past’ please visit the :

 ‘Those were the days’ photo album 

If you have any photos of Durham Constabulary that we could use on the website please drop us an email to :

OFFBEAT : New constabulary electronic magazine

OFFBEAT 1Copperplate Light has now been replaced by a new electronic magazine named OFFBEAT.

First issue has just been issued and can be viewed by clicking on the image which will take you to where it is stored online.

You can then view the magazine fullscreen by clicking on the square, to the right of the + sign on the line below the magazine homepage.

To view old issues of Copperplate visit the Copperplate page :  on the Durham NARPO website

Death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt 1278 Joseph Hann

It is with regret that we have to notify you of the death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt 1278 Joseph Hann who died on December 7th, aged 79 years.
Joseph Hann spent 2 years as a police cadet with Durham Constabulary from 30th November 1953 until 11th May 1955, before serving with the RAF for 2 years.
Joseph then joined Durham Constabulary on 17th June 1957 and from HQ training served at Durham, Consett, Eastgate, West Hartlepool, Hartlepool, Newbottle, Grasswell then in scientific aids at Consett. In March 1969 he moved into fingerprints where he remained until he was promoted to Sgt in NECRO then Durham CRO. In January 1984 he moved onto DCIB and was medically retired on 20th September 1984.
Joseph was the dearly loved husband of Anice and dearly loved father of Lesley, Stephen and Darren
Friends please meet for funeral service at St. Aidans Church, Framwellgate Moor on Thursday, December 22nd, at 2.15pm.
Flowers welcome, donations in lieu if desired to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time

Carol Service 2016

Carol Service

Any officers who were serving when HQ mast was erected in the late 1960s?

Do you know any Durham Constabulary officers who were serving when our mast was erected in the late 1960s?
The communication tower, which is a listed structure, will soon make the short journey from its place at the old headquarters to our new HQ just along the road.
The mast was built and designed by Sir Ove Arup between 1965 and 1968. Arup was also responsible for the Sydney Opera House and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
We are keen to try and find some of former colleagues to invite them to our new HQ to watch the mast being moved.
Please email :

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Death of a retired Police Officer : PW Marie Richardson

P1160348It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer : PW Marie Richardson, aged 90 years, who passed away very peacefully on Friday 9th December after a long illness.
Marie joined Durham Constabulary in 1950, working at Stockton, Hartlepool, Consett and Chester Le Street, and received six chief constables commendations for outstanding police work.
She was married to Inspector Derrick Richardson, and became one of the first police women in the UK to take maternity leave and return to full time police work.
Marie retired in 1963.
Marie and Derricks daughter, Julie Crick, retired from Durham Constabulary in 2010.
The celebration of Marie's life will be held at Durham Crematorium on Wednesday 21st December at 1pm.
All former colleagues are welcome to attend - family flowers only
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time

Monday 12 December 2016

Death of a retired Police Officer / Civilian Support Staff : Sgt Ralph Atkinson

Ralph Atkinson

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer / Civilian Support Staff : Sgt Ralph Atkinson who died on November 28th, in hospital,  aged 91 years.

Mr Atkinson's service details are not known but many will remember him as Admin Sgt in Training in the early 70's and upon retirement he continued in this role as a civilian.

Friends please meet for service at Durham Crematorium on Tuesday, December 13th, at 2.00pm.
Family flowers only please, donations in lieu if desired to Willow Wood Hospice, Willow Wood Close, Mellor Road, Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL6 6SL.

Death of a retired Police Officer/Civilian support staff : Mrs Audrey Loughlin

Audrey LoughlinIt is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer/Civilian support staff : Mrs Audrey Loughlin who died on 24th November aged 92 years.
Mrs Loughlin served as a PW in Durham Constabulary but dates of service are not known. She continued to work as a civilian member of staff as clerical officer in HQ Workshops from 1970 to 1987.
The funeral will take place on Thursday 15th December. All are welcome to attend 2.30pm at St. Gilesgate Church, followed by refreshments in the church hall.
Family flowers only please, however donations can be made to the Macular society (
Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.

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