31 July 2020
Chief Constable Peter Goodman has thanked Derbyshire police officers and staff for their service as he retires today after 32 years in policing.
Peter says he is ‘humbled’ to have led Derbyshire Constabulary for the last three years.
He said: “Thank you for your everyday heroism, commitment, passion. It has been humbling to lead such a great force. The past few months have just reinforced that.
“Also, please stay safe in these difficult times as you walk towards the pandemic when the world is running away.”
Peter said the officers and staff, and their commitment to the job, are the Force’s greatest strength.
“I mean it when I say I think we are a force laden with heroes,” he said. “Thank you.”
Peter admitted he was nervous about leaving but said he had plenty of plans for his retirement.
“I need to spend more time with my lovely partner, Anita,” he said. “The time has come for her to come first.
“My plans in retirement are travel, cycling, spending time with Anita, and my beloved Leicester City. Sorry!
“I really don’t know what I’m most looking forward to. I’m a bit frightened about leaving, to be honest.
He added: “I’ll miss pretty much everything but, most of all, being part of the most noble profession in the world.”
Peter joined the service at the first attempt.
“I think it was easier then,” – he said, “I joined because I liked working outdoors. I would like to say it was for some great yearning to do good, but it wasn’t.
“It was after I’d joined that it became my absolute passion. It is addictive.
“I loved it. I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to have such fun. I worked with some great teams and individuals. We knew how to have a laugh, but we really enjoyed locking villains up.
“I didn’t really have any early ambitions. I was young and enjoyed dealing with something different every day.
“I liked nights best as you could be proactive and go looking for burglars. I went on CID quite early and soon wanted to progress as a detective. My ambition was to be a DI before I retired.”
His first posting was in Hyson Green in Nottingham and his first arrest was a burglar.
“Yes, Billy Black, a burglar in Hyson Green I caught in a house on my first day out of training school,” he recalled.
“He had a homemade tattoo that read ‘EVLIS’. I think he meant it to say ‘ELVIS’.
Peter said his three career highlights were getting on CID within 18 months’ service, getting his Queen’s Police Medal – “It was great for my family” – and joining Derbyshire Constabulary.
“It’s the best police force in the country,” he said. “It felt like coming home.”
Peter said there have been many low points, but one sticks out.
“Mostly dealing with families of murder victims,” he said. “My saddest moment in policing was going to a triple murder on Christmas Eve where the father had killed his partner and two young children in their home. It still haunts me today.”
Peter said that the biggest change in his career has been around technology and said that will continue.
“Get ready for more of it,” he said. “I would like to think that the best change is that we put people first in Derbyshire.
“That wasn’t really the case when I joined. It was pretty brutal, especially for women. I have heard people say the most awful things.”
And the worst change?
“The ridiculous performance culture forced upon us where we knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing,” he said.
Peter believes policing will need to adapt in the future.
“I think crime and society will change faster than ever before,” he said. “Policing will need to have the energy, imagination and resilience to remain effective.
“Sadly, I see few current chiefs who possess those qualities.”
Peter said he hopes he is leaving Derbyshire in a better place than when he became Chief Constable.
He said: “I’ve achieved very little but hope I’ve enabled the Force, teams and individuals to be better. I hope my focus on people, culture, innovation and technology have enabled this.”
So, how would he like to be remembered for his time on the Force?
“As a compassionate leader who set about modernising the Force for the long-term. People, innovation and technology,” he said.
Peter said that the person he most admired in policing was the former Prime Minister and Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, who is regarded as the father of policing after creating the Metropolitan Police.
“He created a policing in this country which is so closely entwined with the people it serves,” he said. “We remain unique and he started it all.”
Peter said the best piece of advice he has been given during his career came Chris Sims, the former Chief Constable of the West Midlands.
And he offered the following advice for new officers starting out on their career.
“Do the right thing, work hard and good things will happen. I believed it then and I believe it now,” he added.