Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle draws policing career to a close

Jim Barker-McCardle stood down on Friday after 32 years in the police force.

Jim Barker-McCardle stood down on Friday after 32 years in the police force. - Credit: Archant

The Chief Constable of Essex who is leaving policing after 32 years says that his time with the force and serving the people of Essex has been the highlight of his career.

Jim Barker-McCardle stands down today (Friday) after taking over the reins in September 2009.

His period in office has included making unprecedented reductions in expenditure whilst ensuring that crime continues to fall.

He said: “The credit can only belong to the men and women of Essex Police who have had to experience uncertainty and change on a scale never experienced by their predecessors. They have been outstanding.”

Challenges faced by Mr Barker-McCardle included policing the Olympics and Torch Relay, the summer disorder of 2011 and the Dale Farm site clearance.

Despite these challenges, he says it was his daily interactions with people, police officers and police staff that will stand out in his memory.

He also drew attention to the outstanding Special Constabulary.

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“It has been a genuine privilege to work with the officers, staff and people of this county,” he said.

“I must also highlight the outstanding work of our councils, criminal justice agencies and the vast number of superb volunteers across Essex who work together to make Essex ever safer.

“Policing is a unique profession, placing extraordinary demands on extraordinary people, including restrictions on their private lives. It is a career which involves self-sacrifice, courage and public service.

“No officer has more greatly illustrated those qualities than Pc Ian Dibell who gave his own life last year to protect others.

“Every day the police officers and staff of Essex turn up for duty knowing they may face situations in which they will have to make split second judgements on which the safety of the public, suspects and themselves will hinge.

“There is no under-estimating the daily challenges and risks that they face, but also that this job can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying that anyone can do.

“It has been good to be back in the county of my birth. I have always treasured and valued my Essex roots and I will remain very proud to have worked for the people of Essex.

“My successor, Steve Kavanagh is an outstanding and enormously experienced police officer and I wish him and our Police and Crime Commissioner every success.”