Colin makes difficult choice' after 30 years

PUBLISHED: 12:07 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 11 May 2010

Pc Colin Mingay

Pc Colin Mingay

A ROYSTON police officer who has clocked up 30 years of service will be hanging his hat up for the last time today (Thursday). Pc Colin Mingay, who is currently the youth crime reduction officer in Royston, is retiring from the service. Mr Mingay said: T

A ROYSTON police officer who has clocked up 30 years of service will be hanging his hat up for the last time today (Thursday).

Pc Colin Mingay, who is currently the youth crime reduction officer in Royston, is retiring from the service.

Mr Mingay said: "The police force has been everything to me.

"It comes with a large amount of responsibility and it will be nice to put that down.

"I will have some responsibility in my new job but it will be no where near as stressful."

The officer, who lives in Royston, will be joining the Hertfordshire County Council library service, and will be driving the mobile library.

He said: "I will still be dealing with the public which is nice.

"I didn't want to be sitting cooped up in an office all day, and with this job I am still providing a service to the community."

Mr Mingay joined the police service as a cadet at the age of 16 and has been with the force ever since.

"I started off in Hitchin and I was then moved to Royston.

"I kicked against it - it was the last place I wanted to come. Most of the officers were old in service and I was young, but it became my home."

After seven years Mr Mingay moved to Letchworth, then Stevenage, and finally returned to Royston in 1999.

"I think it was an advantage to have lived and worked in Royston, although some say you never quite go home. It is a 24-hour job.

"It's a huge compliment that people want to talk to you when you're off duty as well, but it's also a big responsibility.

"People talk to me and supported me, but of course I didn't please all people at all times."

Having completed his 30-year tenure with the police force, Mr Mingay could have chosen to stay on in his role, but decided to branch out.

He said: "It was the most difficult decision I have ever made, as I still get a lot out of the job.

"But I was itching to see what the world was like outside the police service. It was time for a change."

After so long in the police force, Mr Mingay says he will miss the esteem in which he is held by the public in Royston, and of course his colleagues.

"I have umpteen funny stories that I share with colleagues," he said.

"I will also miss the satisfaction of helping people and making a difference to their lives.

"I have to try to become Mr Average now, and I can see myself finding it difficult at first.

"Even though I'm hanging the hat up, I'll still think as a policeman thinks."

Mr Mingay reached the UK final of Community Police Officer of the Year awards twice, once in 1994, and again in 2002.

With lots of fond memories to look back on, he says: "There are so many people I should thank, Neighbourhood Watch, the council, the schools, and members of the public.

"It has been a dream for me here, although I could be biased towards Royston.

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