A top Ripley beat cop is calling time on his life in the police force after 21 years – and now aims to concentrate on his other love – sports cars.
PC Mark Reddish, of the Ripley Safer Neighbourhood Team, is to retire.
The 49-year-old leaves behind a career which has seen him commended four times - but also with some sadness.
He said: “Ripley’s a good place to work, it’s a small community – you meet the same people and get to know them well - I don’t think I will miss the job as much as I will miss the people .”
But Mark, who has been a beat policeman in Ripley for nearly six years, said now was the right time to leave.
He said: “The question is how old do you want to be working as a front line police officer? It’s a young man’s game – time for someone else to have a go.”
Former miner Mark, from Bolsover, spent 11 years in the coal industry and even took part in the strikes of 1984 and 1985 when Margaret Thatcher‘s government closed his home town’s pit. In 1992 he took a post at Shirebrook as an area bobby.
On becoming a policeman he said: “I remember thinking I want a career like that. I will never be out of work, I’ll never go on strike again.”
In the mid-1990s Mark took on a dual role as part of Derbyshire Constabulary’s road traffic and armed response unit.
Since 2006, he has been a uniformed officer - joining Ripley’s Safer Neighbourhood team in 2008.
His last day at work will be on May 15.
“I will have to have a good look at my hobbies,” he said. “I’ve always had an interest in sports cars and I’ve owned a few in my time. Who knows, it might not be the end of work, but it is the end of my time in policing.”
Leader of Ripley Town Council Cllr Steve Freeborn paid tribute to Mark, saying: “I’m sorry to see him retire, but I’m grateful to him for the commitment he has given to Ripley.
“I don’t think we’ve had a more effective, popular policeman in Ripley since old man Flannagan in the 1970s!”