Policeman swaps Suffolk for Afghanistan

A SENIOR Suffolk police officer is leaving the county to take on a new beat - in the war-torn country of Afghanistan.

Laurence Cawley

A SENIOR Suffolk police officer is leaving the county to take on a new beat - in the war-torn country of Afghanistan.

The district commander for Forest Heath, Chief Inspector Michael Holdsworth, has been seconded to the Foreign Office and he will be joining the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan, and takes up his new role next month.

Ch Insp Holdsworth has worked for Suffolk Constabulary for more than 30 years, most of which has been spent in the west of the county.


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During the 1990s he was Inspector at Newmarket and then Brandon, before he was promoted to Chief Inspector in 1997 and moving to the force's HQ in Martlesham for 10 years.

He then returned to Forest Heath as district commander in 2007.

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He has also been seconded to the United Nations on three occasions, serving in Bosnia, East Timor and Sierra Leone.

He said: “I have really enjoyed my second stint in Forest Heath. The commitment of officers and staff has been reflected in a reduction in crime and an increase in detection rates, and I am proud of what has been achieved in the last two years. In addition the work that's been done with partners has been first class, with a great deal of enthusiasm and a shared focus on a positive future here.

“The opportunity has arisen for me to join the Foreign Office for my fourth appointment abroad. The decision to leave has not been easy, but I am looking forward to the new challenges this will bring.”

Ch Insp Holdsworth's replacement as Forest Heath's district commander will be announced in due course.

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