Monday 22 July 2024
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Son replaces dad in role at Nottinghamshire Police

One of Nottinghamshire Police’s longest-serving employees has been replaced by his own son following his well-earned retirement. 

Dennis Bakewell said farewell to his colleagues in August last year – almost 50 years after he joined the force in 1972.

Initially a cadet, he went on to serve as a police officer until 2000. He then had a brief spell in the CCTV unit at Mansfield District Council before returning to Nottinghamshire Police as a staff officer in the Digital Multimedia Evidence Unit, where he finished his career.

His retirement left big shoes to fill at the department and a number of applications were received, including from Dennis’ son, Chris Bakewell.

Like all candidates, the 31-year-old went through a rigorous recruitment process and Dennis – whose wife was also a police officer – was thrilled when Chris landed the role.

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“It is nice for me,” he said. “He went through all the interviewing processes and the paper applications and everything else. He’s got the job on merit and not because of me.

“I’m proud of him and I hope it makes a career out of it.”

Based at the force’s headquarters, the Digital Multimedia Evidence Unit specialises in the forensic preservation, extraction, processing and presentation of digital evidence, such as CCTV, body-worn video, dash-cam footage, drone footage and recorded interviews.

Chris, who studied computer science at college and most recently worked as a manager in the retail sector, said he was thrilled to have landed his father’s job in the department.

He said: “Both my parents worked for the police and so I’ve always had a natural interest in the police. I’d heard all their stories and they romanticised it a little bit.

“I’ve also always been interested in technology as well. I’m a bit of a technology buff so this job is a really good fit for me.”

Chris started his new role on January 17 and is already settling in well.

“Everyone in the department has been really welcoming,” he said. “They obviously know my dad and so they’d probably heard a bit about me before I came.

“I think they like that I’ve joined. I’m doing the exact same role as my dad did and the exact same shift pattern – it’s a nice little story.”

Has he got big shoes to fill?

“I think so,” said Chris. “They’ve all said nice things about him but I guess they’re going to! They’ve got a lot of good things to say about him. They all thought a lot of him.

“My dad’s one of those people who is very approachable. If anyone needed any help they’d ask my dad and he’d always be willing to offer his expertise.”

Settling into a new job can take time but Chris says he will look to resist seeking help from his dad.

“It’s difficult because my dad’s done it for so long as has his own way of doing things. I’m trying resist going to him because it could get a bit convoluted if my training tells me one thing and my dad another!”

In the modern age, digital evidence plays a pivotal role in police investigations and prosecutions and Dennis said there will be times when his son comes across some harrowing images.

“I enjoyed my time in the police – it was a brilliant career – but you do see horrendous things,” he said.

“Chris will also see some distressing things, albeit on things like CCTV. I’ve explained to him that you’ve got to have a switch in the brain that enables you to switch off for those kind of incidents, to a certain extent.

“If you start looking at pictures and thinking that man had a family etc, you probably wouldn’t be able to cope with it.”

Lois Perry-Doyle, a supervisor within the Digital Multimedia Evidence Unit, said the team missed having Dennis around but were also thrilled to welcome Chris.

She said: “It was a pleasure to have worked with Dennis. He was an intrinsic member of the DMEU family and an asset to Nottinghamshire Police.

“We were terribly sad to see him leave and miss his humour around the office. It is so wonderful having his son Chris join the unit and follow in his father’s footsteps. He has some big shoes to fill but I am confident he will rise to the challenge.”

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