instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

It’s the Old Bill: Longest serving police officer’s special landmark

MEET Britain’s longest serving police officer who is celebrating 52 years on the beat and helping thousands of people — but only arresting five.

Special Constable Richard Warren, 74, has picked up a series of medals during his long career, including an MBE for services to policing.

The granddad-of-seven’s role as a countryside copper involves patrolling roads, transporting violent offenders in a van and investigating rustling.

And Richard, who works for Wiltshire Constabulary, has no plans to retire.

Community policing: Richard out and about on his rural beat

Last week, he added another bar to his long service medal to mark 50 years in the force but holds five other medals.

Richard has three medals awarded to him for serving during the Queen’s 25th, 50th and 60th years on the throne.

Special constables — known as ‘specials’ — are part-time volunteer officers who hold the power to arrest individuals.

Decorated: Richard Warren MBE adds a long-service medal to his impressive bar

The dad-of-three of Hullavington, Wiltshire, says he has only made ‘around five arrests’ in his role.

He explained: ‘My main role is to help people, mainly doing rural patrols and foot patrols in Malmesbury and places like that.

‘My role is generally helping the police with whatever they want me to do. I try to do my best to make sure everyone stays safe in Wiltshire.

‘I can arrest people but I don’t go out of the way to do that.

Rustler’s nightmare: Richard at an agricultural show

‘I am trained to use the extended batons, pepper spray and wear a body worn camera. I’ve never used the baton but have withdrawn it to impose myself.

‘There was a group of people in a pub one evening they were coming out after drinking a lot so it was best that they knew we were there.

‘I held it over my shoulder — when you draw a baton you don’t hold it any other way than over your shoulder.’

Traffic duties: Richard at a countryside event

Richard also volunteers as a litter picker and cares for wife Lynette, 70, who suffers with MS. The couple have been married for 49 years.

He was also selected to carry the Olympic Flame in 2012 between Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire.

Richard keeps fit by running long distances and has completed four of the last five London marathons — his personal best time being six and a half hours.

Larking about: Richard makes a joke about sleeping policemen

He only works as an officer on Fridays and is a computer engineer by trade who still spends time repairing hardware for clients.

Richard added: ‘A lot of my work in the police force doesn’t get into the news because it’s usually people who have concerns for welfare and missing persons.

Outreach: Richard at a friendship meeting with the International Police Association in 2001

‘I’ll help out if any children are involved. For example, the mum of an 11-year-old boy was arrested and taken into custody.

‘I went to the garage and bought him some food and then stayed with him for a couple of hours and then he was taken off to a family member.

‘I just kept him calm and informed about what was going on.’

And the beat goes on: Richard, 74, has no plans to retire PICTURES: SWNS