Councillor in bid to save officer's job
A LONG-SERVING Newquay police officer who has been forced to retire says he is 'humbled' by the messages of support and an eleventh-hour campaign to try and save him.
Sergeant Bob Murray will hang up his handcuffs on Monday after 30 years' service.
He was forced to leave under Regulation A19, which states that any officer who has clocked up more than three decades of pensionable service can be made to retire.
As a last-ditch attempt to save him, Newquay town councillor Gary Redman said he will once again be writing to the Home Secretary Theresa May.
Mr Redman said: "It might be the eleventh hour but I have not given up hope yet. I have already written to the chief constable and the Home Secretary.
"I will e-mail the Home Secretary one more time as I have not had a satisfactory response. Sergeant Murray's professional policing will be missed and I will do all I can to get his retirement postponed or cancelled – I know that he doesn't want to go."
However, fellow councillors did not support the gesture.
Cornwall and town councillor John Fitter said: "I am totally opposed to this suggestion. This is a matter for the chief constable.
"We cannot start picking which police officers we want. I have great respect for Sergeant Murray, like I did for Inspector Dave Meredith and Inspector Dave Folland.
"This same chamber did not do anything when they left. It is not within the gift of this civic authority. I do wish Sergeant Murray every success."
Councillor Joanna Kenny said: "Sergeant Murray is a very modest man and I do not think we should be interfering. All credit for you for trying but I am afraid you are not going to succeed."
In response Mr Redman said: "I should have done something for the other officers but I didn't.
"In my heart of hearts I know I might not change the decision but as an elected member of this authority I will contact the relevant people.
"Sergeant Murray does not want to retire and he offers valuable experience to the town's policing."
After the meeting SergeantMurray said: "I would have preferred doing the job I enjoy.
"The messages of support I have received from members of the council, residents' groups, Newquay Safe members and others has really humbled me, and I wish I could continue with the all the work we have been doing to make Newquay an even more safe place to live and visit. Unfortunately, the finances won't allow that and there is no sign of any change in the requirement to leave at 30 years' service."