UK’s longest serving police officer who began on streets of West Hampstead retires

PUBLISHED: 14:56 13 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:56 13 February 2015

PC Brown is retiring after 47 years of service

PC Brown is retiring after 47 years of service


The country’s longest serving police officer who started off as a teenager patrolling the streets of West Hampstead is retiring today.

PC Robert ‘Bob’ Brown in 1969PC Robert ‘Bob’ Brown in 1969

PC Robert ‘Bob’ Brown is hanging up his hat and truncheon after 47 years with the Met.

He signed up as a trainee police constable a day after his 19th birthday on 17 February, 1969, and went on to spend the next 13 weeks at the Met’s Hendon training school.

PC Brown spent 15 years on the local beat and crime squad in Camden before he went on to serve in Brent, Norbury, Addington and Sutton.

In the late nineties he joined Croydon, where he was born, where he has remained until his last day.

During his years he has been involved in some of London’s most well-known cases and incidents including the arrest of Astrid Proll, who was part of the notorious revolutionary terrorist group, the Baader-Meinhoff gang in 1978.

Three years later he faced bricks, bottles and burning buildings during the first Brixton riot, spending almost 72 hours on duty, save for a few short breaks.

One of his darkest hours was on 8 February, 1994, when he responded to an armed robbery at a sub-post office in New Addington along with three other colleagues, including Sergeant Derek Robertson who was stabbed and murdered by the robbers.

He bravely tried to give his colleague first aid and watched on as medics tried in vain to save his life.

PC Brown has also been on duty at nearly every single Notting Hill Carnival.

Last week, he was given a Queen’s Police Medal, one of the highest honours bestowed to police, in recognition of his dedicated service.

Chief Superintendent Andy Tarrant, Croydon Borough Commander, said: “Bob Brown has dedicated 47 years to public service and deserves all the recognition that goes with being the country’s longest serving police officer.

“It is only fitting that Bob should complete his career in the area that he was born in.

“Bob will be missed by all his friends and colleagues.”

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