Detective retires after 30 years

A RETIRING Essex policeman has spoken of his pride in fighting crime in the county for 30 years as he prepares to embark on a new challenge - a university degree.

Elliot Furniss

A RETIRING Essex policeman has spoken of his pride in fighting crime in the county for 30 years as he prepares to embark on a new challenge - a university degree.

Colchester-based Detective Inspector Roy Clark retires at the end of this month and married his long-term partner last weekend.

Now he is planning to “live life backwards” when, aged 48, he heads off to Essex University in the autumn to start a four-year degree, jointly studying both British and French law.

You may also want to watch:

Det Insp Clark's wife Sab hails from France and the newlyweds plan to move across the English Channel for the final two years of the course.

He said: “I'm going to have a bit of a break first, taking a holiday. I have always had an interest in the law through my police work and it's something I have always thought about taking further.

Most Read

“And the reason behind this particular course is that we have always said we would like to move to France after I retire.”

Det Insp Clark, a father of three, joined Essex Police almost 30 years ago on July 31, 1978 and has had a varied career that has included a secondment to Interpol.

He was involved in two high profile hostage situations at Stansted Airport as well as a number of significant cases that saw major drug dealers put behind bars.

He said: “When I look back I always think 'I could have done more' but overall I'm very satisfied. One thing I'm particularly proud of is my involvement in test purchases with drug dealers in and around Colchester.

“I have actually run three or four that have been very successful in taking heroin and cocaine off the streets of the town.”

He said some of the other big cases he had worked on included the IRA car bombing in Colchester in 1989 that left military policeman Andy Mudd severely maimed and the unresolved murder of Grant Byrom on Boxing Day, 1998.

Det Insp Clark said: “I was duty inspector on that day (Boxing Day) and went to the scene and I have had involvement with it ever since.

“We have got somebody wanted but they're thought to have gone abroad and we have never caught up with that person. I had always hoped we would get some resolution to that one before I retired, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

“I'm happy that I have done everything I can, obviously other people have had involvement in that too, but it's frustrating that a crime where we're reasonably happy we know who's responsible, and who the evidence points to, is an individual we can't bring to justice.”

He said that the job had changed “a lot” during his 30 years' service, but it was a career he would still recommend.

He added: “It's not everybody's cup of tea, I suppose, but you get an enormous amount of satisfaction in helping people and locking up villains.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus