Chief constable set to retire

SUFFOLK police are beginning their hunt for a new chief constable today after it emerged Alistair McWhirter would be retiring.The force's chief constable is believed to have informed colleagues yesterday that he would leaving his post in March 2007.

SUFFOLK police are beginning their hunt for a new chief constable today after it emerged Alistair McWhirter would be retiring.

The force's chief constable is believed to have informed colleagues yesterday that he would leaving his post in March 2007.

The 53-year-old will have served the 30-years necessary for him to receive his full police pension but it is not yet known whether he plans to continue work in some capacity.

The county officially became the safest in England under Mr McWhirter's reign between April and December 2005, however it has not all been plain sailing for the chief.

Last year he hit the headlines during discussions over the possible amalgamation of police forces in East Anglia when he described Cambridgeshire as “the Billy no mates of policing”.

He suggested forces were concerned about joining with Cambridgeshire for fear resources would move to the once troubled force.

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Today Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for public protection paid tribute to Mr McWhirter.

She helped appoint the chief constable at the end of 2002.

She said: “Alastair has been a fine servant of Suffolk and a credit to the police force.

“He commands respect and has fostered understanding among all communities across the county.

“He believes in partnerships more than just words. Alastair has been a true friend of Suffolk County Council. We wish him well in the future and look forward to good working relationships with his successor.”

Mr McWhirter joined Suffolk police as chief constable in February 2003 after the previous chief, Paul Scott Lee, took up a post in the West Midlands.

The father-of-two was deputy chief constable of Wiltshire Constabulary before moving to Suffolk and began his career as a constable in Hampshire.

He is a holder of the Queen's police medal and is a graduate of Aberdeen University, where he studied English and history.

Prior to joining policing he trained to be a teacher at Southampton University alongside his wife Jennifer.

Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk

www.eveningstar.co.uk/news

What are your memories of Mr McWhirter? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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