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East Lancashire police boss to retire after 30 years
THE BOSS of Lancashire Police’s Eastern Division said he felt a ‘professional obligation’ to retire after 30 years’ service.
The announcement made by Bob Eastwood, who is in charge of policing in Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, came the day after the force announced it still needed to save £13million and intended to merge the police’s six geographical division’s into three.
Chief Superintendent Eastwood said that after leading the review into the amalgamation, he was looking forward to embarking on new opportunities, which would include consultancy roles at home and abroad, as well as lecturing at local universities.
He said: “I never expected to retire from the constabulary so young, but I think it is necessary that I do.
“With the amount of savings needed, there was a professional obligation on me to leave because I had 30 years in.
“Other opportunities appear to be opening up to me and I am really looking forward to the challenges my future roles will bring.”
The 48-year-old, who was born in Blackburn, joined Lancashire Police at the age of 18 as a cadet.
He said he had been inspired to become a police officer after writing an essay as a pupil at St Mary’s College about future career dreams.
The father-of-four said: “I thought about it and got a real attraction to being a cop.
“I wanted to have a role in keeping people safe.
“I do not mean to sound sickly, but I am removing some very bad people.”
Since then, Mr Eastwood has worked on investigations including the Abbeystead Disaster and a major international drugs trafficking case.
He said the role of police officers had changed considerably over the years.
He said: “Police officers are more tuned into different communities now.
“They are certainly better trained and better equipped than when I joined.
“One thing that worries me though is that there are noises made nationally that the police are still reducing crime with less resources and my fear is that crime is going to go up.
“The fact that we are still reducing crime with less resources is because of all the things that we have done in the past with our partners with fewer resources between us.
“I am convinced that crime will increase.”
Mr Eastwood, who enjoys exercising and watching rugby and football in his spare time, left the force for three years in 1990 to do a degree course at Lancaster University in law.
He said he would miss working with his colleagues.
He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. What amazes me is the resilience of my staff.
“It has always been something that has really inspired me.”
Mr Eastwood will continue working with Lancashire Police until the merger in April next year to ensure a smooth transition.
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