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Monday, 25 January 2021

Officer who fulfilled childhood dream retires after 49 years with Nottinghamshire Police

David spent two years on the beat and driving Pandas, before he was transferred to Rushcliffe Section working the rural areas, where he spent a further two years.

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A man who dreamed of being an officer since he was ten years old has retired after nearly 49 years working for Nottinghamshire Police.

David Browitt joined Nottinghamshire Police as a cadet in 1972 as a keen footballer, and his playing ability saw him selected to represent Nottinghamshire Police Cadets football team.

He said: “Ever since I was ten years old I’d said to my parents I wanted to be a police officer. It was an exciting time when I joined as a cadet and playing for the football team was great. In 1973, the team won the National Cadet Championship and we went on to play a Nottingham Forest youth team at the City Ground, but sadly lost, but it was a great experience.”

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Dave Browitt recent
Dave Browitt

In addition to playing for the force’s cadet team, David was selected to participate in a three-week police driving course and upon completion, he was allowed to drive the force’s ‘Panda cars’, under the supervision of a regular officer whilst on general patrol.

In June 1974, David was appointed as an officer and attended the National Police Training College, in Pannal Ash, Harrogate, to complete a 12-week training course.

Recalling his arrival to the training centre, David said: “I came out of my vehicle with a colleague and my shirt had come out of my trousers. I was met by a sergeant who gave me an almighty telling off for not having it tucked in.

“It was quite the introduction, I was frightened to death and I had previously thought that the Inspector at the former police headquarters, Epperstone Manor, was bad, but he was quite tame in comparison.

“After 12 weeks I passed out having completed my basic training and was posted to Clifton Police Station, some 100 yards from my home address.”

David spent two years on the beat and driving Pandas, before he was transferred to Rushcliffe Section working the rural areas, where he spent a further two years.

David said: “That post was not my favourite, as I’m not a huge fan of dogs. I came across them far too often for my liking during my time at Rushcliffe. On a more light-hearted note, on one occasion I was with a colleague at 5am when it was suggested we pick some mushrooms from a field. There we were in full uniform filling our helmets when a voice said “morning”. A member of the public was doing the same, and that was embarrassing.

“On another occasion I was called to a robbery at the former Plumtree Post Office, I raced to the scene, quickly exited my vehicle and then heard the voice of the Inspector shouting loudly ‘Put your cap on’. Nowadays, no one would worry that you weren’t wearing headgear.”

In 1978, David was appointed to the criminal investigation department where he spent the next 17 years as a detective, often being called out in the middle of the night to serious crimes and acting as an exhibits officer, as well as attending post-mortem examinations.

David decided to retire his position as a detective in 1995 and applied to become a licensing officer.

During his time, he played an instrumental part in setting up the Pubwatch organisation in Nottingham city centre, a scheme which aims to achieve a safer drinking environment in all licensed premises.

David remained a licensing officer until his first retirement in 2006. However, not quite ready to hang up his hat, David returned as a police staff member, continuing his role as a licensing officer, before officially retiring in September.

David said: “My time at the force has been wonderful, I’ve made so many memories and I’ve been able to live my childhood dream. Policing has changed a lot in the last four decades but I’ve loved every moment. I am looking forward to relaxing now with my wife, two sons and four grandchildren.

Stephen Fletcher, licensing officer for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “David has played an integral part of the licensing department for over 20 years and he will be sorely missed. He had a lot of wonderful stories to tell during his time at the force and we wish him all the best for his retirement.”