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Tuesday, 4 August 2020 - 9:55pm

Rushcliffe police officer retires after 24 years serving the community

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A career full of problem solving, community engagements and cake fines!

After 24-years in the job, a beat officer updates the force’s local Rushcliffe social media accounts for the final time.

PC Howard Shinn is the first to admit he does not like the limelight, he is a lot more at ease communicating with local Councillors and providing updates to local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, than recalling his time as a response officer.

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However, in a smart new office in Cotgrave, he admits it is the right time to try something different.

“I think looking back, it’s the right time to move on – I’m getting too old to jump over hedges and chase people down!” the 59-year-old joked.

“I’ll be sad to go of course. I will be full of emotions and it has been a career full of excitements and challenging moments.

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“I’d always wanted to be a police officer, ever since I saw a careers advisor when I was a teenager I knew that was a path I wanted to go down. I had previously applied to become a Cadet, but didn’t get accepted and it wasn’t until I had my third and final attempt in 1996 that I managed to finally get my foot in the door.”

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It’s been a career which has taken him across Nottinghamshire, starting in Carlton in the summer of 1996, then spells in Sneinton, the Meadows, Radford and Bingham. He has also worked as a firearms officer, on domestic abuse investigations team and finally a Beat Manager in Rushcliffe.

As part of his Beat Manager role Howard has ran the Rushcliffe and West Bridgford local social media pages for the past 12-months and admits that technology is one of the biggest changes to policing.

Long gone are the days of recording crimes and writing up statements on paper.

He recalled: “Back then you had to write huge amounts of paperwork! I can remember one fatal accident where unfortunately, an elderly person lost her life and we had to write as many as 20 or 30 pages of statements as part of the investigation.

“These days it’s all online systems and very thorough and very efficient. Obviously, you had no emails back then, so we were all going through lots of paper.

“My career has had various challenges and the past nine years as Beat Manager has seen a lot of community engagement and that’s something I’m very passionate about. I have enjoyed building relationships with a number of councillors, local schools and youth groups across the 14 villages on my patch.

“It’s been very rewarding to rejuvenate neighbourhood watch schemes in the area. The local communities is the heartbeat of any area. They are the eyes and ears. They are the ones you turn to give you accurate information. To some looking in, they might think those types of schemes only focus on your low-level crimes, but in reality they are big things that can impact people’s lives.

“As clichéd as this is, I will miss the people who I have worked with. It has been an honour and pleasure to work with them all.

“Policing is a great career. It is very challenging and you see things that you wouldn’t if you worked in a standard 9-5 office job. I’ve felt like I’ve made a difference to the community I’ve served and no regrets. I’m excited for the next chapter, whatever that turns out to be.”

Inspector Craig Berry, the Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Rushcliffe, has known Howard for the past five years and praised him for giving a huge amount of his life to the force and the Nottinghamshire people.

He said: “He should be very proud of all his achievements, not just the years he has given back to the community, but the hard work he has given to build up those crucial relationships across the area. Howard has been a great servant to the force and we will miss him.”

Everyone at Nottinghamshire Police would like to thank Howard for his service and wish him the very best in his retirement.

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