Popular York Inspector retires after 25 years service
Main article content
“I look up to the Minster and think I am so lucky to be working here”
The words of Inspector Martin Metcalfe who will be signing off from his final tour of duty this week after serving as a police officer for 25 years. Martin has a “legendary” reputation, particularly in the City of York where he has spent the last five years a Critical Incident Inspector on band three. He is highly thought of by business owners, members of the public, his colleagues and even some of the criminals!
Martin joined North Yorkshire Police in 1991 as a Special Constable and served for five years before joining as a regular officer in October 1996. He was posted within the city walls of York as a response officer. His drive and ambition for the job secured him promotion to Sergeant and under protest he even did a brief spell as custody Sergeant. Martin was once again promoted to Inspector and has more recently taken on the role as a Critical Incident Inspector for the York and Selby command.
(Martin receiving his Long Service award from Chief Constable Lisa Winward)
York is a place that is very special to Martin, this is where he has spent most of his career on the beat with the exception of a brief spell in Harrogate. In York, Martin is a well-known face, his network of contacts, knowledge of back alleyways and his ability to be in the right place at the right time has meant he has taken hundreds of criminals off the city’s streets over the years. His love, passion, and enthusiasm for the city of York is quite extraordinary.
Martin plans to start his retirement by taking some well-deserved time off. He will be following his beloved Portsmouth Football Club and finding some new hobbies.
Martin has answered a few questions for us during his last week with North Yorkshire Police.
What has made you jump out of bed in the morning over the past 25 years?
I absolutely love the uncertainty and excitement of front-line policing. I love dealing with incidents that are fast moving and I get a buzz from arriving at an incident when you simply have no idea what will occur. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but it is something I really enjoy. Making quick timely decisions under pressure is awesome!
How has the city of York changed over the past 25 years from a policing point of view?
York has changed immensely over the last 25 years. I remember going out on patrol for the first time as a Special Constable having just a wooden truncheon and handcuffs as my personal equipment. Now I carry PAVa spray, a radio, baton, taser, limb restraints and handcuffs amongst other things! There seemed to be more mass brawls years ago than now. Of course, back then we didn’t have the luxury of modern technology like we do now. The advance of CCTV on just about every street corner in the city as well as working closely with our partners makes York a safer place for everyone (including police officers).
Is there anything that you haven’t seen whilst policing York?
To be honest, there is nothing I haven’t seen. I have been inside number 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister, arrested celebrities and even arrested a Storm Trooper, Superman and Mickey Mouse!!
(Martin at 10 Downing Street with the PM)
What would you say to anyone who is thinking about joining the police?
DO IT!! It is the most amazing satisfying job in the world in my opinion, however it is not for everyone. I know people that joined and left within months as it was not for them and respect to them for making that decision. I also know a lot more that love it and enjoy it. Policing has changed a lot, but you can still make that huge difference to a person’s life. I genuinely believe it is a huge privilege being a police officer and it certainly has felt that way for me.
You must have worked with a lot of people within North Yorkshire Police over the years, what do you want to say to them?
I would like to say a huge thank you to every person working within the North Yorkshire Police organisation, no matter what department you work in. You are all doing an amazing job and continue to make a huge difference to people’s lives. I have met some amazing people during my career and please be aware your career will fly by. Try to enjoy it, as I strongly believe it is what you make it and please do look after yourselves and your colleagues.