Britain’s oldest serving front-line police officer is hanging up his truncheon and retiring at the age of 63.
Dedicated PC Mick Cowlam has been pounding the beat for 22 years with Avon and Somerset Police.
He has made many friends while doing his rounds in Chard, Yeovil and Crewkerne – including some of the lags he has nicked.
Mick, who lives in Yeovil, says he is retiring to spend time with his family and two young grandchildren.
He said: “I’ve loved every minute of it up until my very last day. I’m going to take with me a lot of good memories. I’ve made some fantastic friends and colleagues over the years.
“Policing these days has got so hi-tech with all the computer equipment, I prefer to see myself as a bit of an old-fashioned policeman.”
Before joining the police Mick, who is based in Chard, spent 25 years with the Royal Navy as a physical instructor.
He said; “I’ve always had problems spending time with the family. I was always away with the Navy and it is not always easy getting the time off you want in the police, so now I’m determined to see more of my family and enjoy being with them.”
During three years of his police service saw Mick go undercover on drugs-related operations.
He said: “I really do believe that 90 per cent of burglaries and thefts from vehicles are all drug-related. Drugs are rife in all of our areas.”
A retirement party is planned for later this month and Mick expects many policing colleagues to join him for a night of reminiscing.
He also joked that a few of the people he had “nicked” over the past 22 years might also want to join him for a drink.