Published: June 24, 2013
Retiring Burnham police Inspector thanked for 33 years of service

Burnham-On-Sea's top policeman, Inspector Roger Tolley, has been thanked for 33 years of service on his retirement this week.

Burnham and Highbridge Mayor Martin Cox and Sedgemoor District Council's Chairman Cllr Peter Downing joined his family, friends and colleagues for a farewell function at Burnham Police Station.

Roger told "I am really fortunate to be able to say that in the whole of my service I have rarely had any time when I haven't enjoyed my work, most especially whilst working in Burnham and Highbridge and the surrounding area."

"It has been a real pleasure to be associated with this community and to represent all its members as the Police Inspector wherever I have been."

"When I started in Burnham in 2001 or so, I was set the task of 'making things better'. I believe that has been done with the effort of a tremendous team of staff at the station who consistently serve us all in the community without fear or favour preventing and detecting crime."

"I have been particularly proud of the extraordinary work of the volunteers who work as part of the Local Policing team, giving up hundreds of hours a year of their time to ensure we are all being served as well as possible."

"Without the effort and dedication they give directly to the police and indirectly to the rest of the community, I would not be the envy of most if not all of my Inspector colleagues from across the force."

Roger added: "I also believe that the vigilance and willingness by a majority of the community not to accept criminality and have the confidence to frequently identify offenders to be dealt with has contributed to our recent levels of achievement. I am absolutely certain we are all safer and stronger as a community than before."

"After such a long association with my role in the communities in Burnham, Highbridge and all other parishes in the area, I will certainly miss the sense of satisfaction that all our successes have brought over the years as well as some of the minor frustrations brought about by some who still voice ill-informed or constructed criticism of their policing team in public."

"However, that pleasure, and both these things always make me smile, will continue for another very fortunate Inspector, who will, I am sure receive as much support from the community as I have enjoyed."

"I have no doubt that I will see many of you around our great town and villages in the future. I look forward to it."

Roger joined the police force in 1980 and worked in Bristol for 12 years as a patrol PC, progressing to a beat manager in Hartcliffe and then to CID. He went on to Bridgwater, then later took up the role of Sector Sergeant at Burnham for almost six years until he was promoted to Inspector in 2007 and went to work in Taunton.

After two a half years at Taunton, he was about to retire at the completion of 30 years' service in 2009 when an opportunity to take up the Burnham Inspector post arose and he jumped at the chance to return to his home town, which he has done until this month's retirement.

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