THE HEAD of police in Redditch has retired after seven years in the role and more than three decades with the service.
Insp Ian Joseph officially retires at the end of the month but has already finished his duties as he prepares for life away from the frontline.
The 49-year-old told the Standard although he could have stayed on he felt now was the right time.
“I reached that stage where if I stayed any longer I’d be one of those old, grumpy, cynical inspectors, without any disrespect to colleagues that have gone before me. I don’t want to leave with my reputation starting to wither on the vine,” he said.
“It’s time to move on and let somebody else with a fresh pair of eyes and perhaps another innovative approach to come in and have a look at the town fresh and take it on further.”
Mr Joseph started his career on October 3, 1983 and his first posting was in Redditch where he has spent the majority of his working life.
During his career he has been involved with some challenging incidents such as policing the miners’ strikes in the 1980s to the more recent EDL protest in Redditch. But he said the highlights were working with the council and other organisations to reduce crime, particularly burglaries, and policing the big public celebrations such as the Olympic Torch coming through the town.
“Redditch has a reputation outside of Redditch that is completely undeserved. A small minority of people adversely affect the town because they commit crime or anti-social behaviour but the vast majority are wonderful people,” he added.
“When I first came here it had that new town status, it was still a little bit disparate in terms of its communities. We had the Birmingham community and the Old Redditch community and that’s broken down over the last 30 years and we’re starting to see the real Redditch come through.”
Mr Joseph said advances in forensic science had been the biggest change in policing during his time with the service, making it easier to catch the bad guys, but his one wish would be for the police to get more recognition for the good work they do.
He will be replaced by Insp Rebecca Love, herself a former Redditch PC.
Council leader Bill Hartnett said Mr Joseph was ‘a credit to the uniform, a credit to the service and a credit to the town’.
Madge Tillsley MBE, who has known Mr Joseph since he was a young policeman, added: “He is a man of integrity, everybody respects him and he is one of the best community officers we have ever had and a wonderful example to his officers. We shall miss him immensely.”
Mr Joseph now plans to spend more time with his wife Claire and children Matthew and Amy before deciding what to do in the future.