Pc Brown bids a final Goodnight all


Published: Friday 13th February 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

He started out in the era of TV shows such as Dixon Of Dock Green, Z Cars and Special Branch.

Now, after 47 years protecting the communities of London, the country’s longest serving police officer is finally hanging up his helmet and truncheon.

Pc Robert Brown was met by an honour guard of officers and colleagues as he clocked in for his final day of work at Croydon police station.

The 64-year-old arrived for his shift in a vintage Morris Minor panda car – the classic British car used by the police when Pc Brown started out as an officer in the late 1960s.

During his near half-century of fighting crime he tangled with some of the biggest names in the criminal underworld, chasing Carlos the Jackal and members of the notorious terrorist group the Baader-Meinhof gang.

His dedication to keeping the capital safe was recognised last week when he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal at Buckingham Palace, one of the highest honours bestowed on the police.

Born in Croydon in 1950 – the London borough where today he ended his career – Pc Brown joined the Metropolitan Police as a paid police cadet in 1968.

He signed up as a trainee police constable a day after his 19th birthday on February 17 1969 and spent 13 weeks at the Met’s training school in Hendon.

Over the years he served at stations in Brent, Norbury, Addington and Sutton, before joining Croydon in the late 1990s.

Policing has changed enormously in the years since he started out.

At his first posting, to West Hampstead – which lasted 15 years – Pc Brown walked the beat with little more than a wooden truncheon and whistle.

In 1969 police technology was rudimentary at best and officers had to ring back to their stations via police boxes, reporting in every two hours to tell their superiors they were safe and to get their duties for the next two hours.

It was not long before he was tackling some of London’s biggest crimes.

In 1973 Pc Brown was one of the first officers on the scene when Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal shot Jewish businessman and then Marks & Spencer boss Joseph Sieff, and five years later he supported the Met’s Special Branch during the arrest of Astrid Proll, a member of revolutionary terrorists the Baader-Meinhof gang, or the Red Army Faction.

Pc Brown was also on duty during the first Brixton riot in 1981, facing bricks, bottles and burning buildings. Aside from a few short breaks he worked for three whole days as he and his fellow officers struggled to keep order.

Perhaps the darkest day of his time in uniform came on February 8 1994, when he and three colleagues responded to an armed robbery at a sub-post office in New Addington.

One of them, Sergeant Derek Robertson, was stabbed. Pc Brown gave him first aid and watched desperately as medics tried to save his life, but their efforts were in vain.

Now, after a career spanning six decades, Pc Brown has served the people of London for the last time. He plans to leave the capital in his retirement and move to Yorkshire, to spend more time with his family.

Thanking him for his tireless service, Chief Superintendent Andy Tarrant, Croydon’s borough commander, said: “Bob Brown has dedicated 47 years to public service and deserves all the recognition that goes with being the country’s longest serving police officer.

“It is only fitting that Bob should complete his career in the area that he was born in. An operational officer virtually to the end of his career, Bob will be missed by all his friends and colleagues.

“Croydon police station won’t be the same without Bob working here.”

Published: Friday 13th February 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search