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Newbury Police Station bids a happy retirement to one of West Berkshire's longest serving Thames Valley Police officers



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ONE of West Berkshire’s longest serving police officers has bid farewell to the uniform.

After dedicating 30 years to Thames Valley Police chief inspector Lindsey Finch – deputy commander of the local policing area (LPA) – enjoyed her final day on the job on Tuesday.

C/Insp Finch has spent a third of her career keeping West Berkshire safe after moving here in 2011 and said she wanted to thank the organisation for always supporting her.

Lindsey Finch outside Newbury Police Station on her last day. Ref: 29-1121.
Lindsey Finch outside Newbury Police Station on her last day. Ref: 29-1121.

“I had wanted this job for a long time because I wanted to be back on a local area and I didn’t want the fact that I had had a family to mean I couldn’t do that,” she told the Newbury Weekly News. “I was really fortunate that Robin Rickard [the LPA commander at that time] was really prepared to take a chance on me working part time when I came here.”

C/Insp Finch was the first part time Chief Inspector and deputy LPA commander in Thames Valley Police and continued to show how you can effectively achieve a great work/life balance until she retired.

She enjoyed three stints as acting Superintendent, commanding the West Berkshire LPA through a number of difficult times.

Living in West Berkshire with her family, it is an area she knows and loves well.

“Working on the LPA you live on just means you absolutely want to get it right and make the difference," she said. “You know the people, you know the community you are trying to put things right for and make the difference for. It gives you that added drive.

“We are one of the smaller police areas, but you have to deliver exactly the same as the other areas and sometimes it’s really difficult to do that.

“One of the things I have seen grow and grow over that time is working in partnership with other agencies, particularly West Berkshire Council.”

Her colleagues said that C/Insp Finch was always there to offer support and guidance, particularly when they were dealing with difficult events, such as the death of Pc Andrew Harper in August 2019 and the death of toddler Dylan Milsom in the canal in Newbury earlier this year.

“One of the things we have improved hugely over the last few years is the support available,” she added. “What we have managed to do here is create a much more supportive environment. If you get the right support at the right time that enables people to carry on being the best police officers.

C/Supt Jim Weems led the warm wishes to Lindsey Finch or her retirement this week. Ref: 29-1121.
C/Supt Jim Weems led the warm wishes to Lindsey Finch or her retirement this week. Ref: 29-1121.

Chief Superintendent Jim Weems, who was one of the area commanders who worked with C/Insp Finch during her time in West Berkshire, said she instrumental in setting the groundwork for the way local policing areas operate to this day.

“Welfare and wellbeing has always been at the core of what Lindsey does,” he added. “She is a really good public servant.

“It will be a completely different place now as Lindsey has been part of policing in West Berkshire for the past 10 years.

“The place will quieter without her; one of the greats is moving on to a new adventure.”

Nick Carter, chief executive of West Berkshire Council, agreed. He added: “Lindsey has without doubt been the most influential senior police officer in West Berkshire during my time here.

“We are blessed with a relatively low crime rate in West Berkshire and that is in part down to the very innovative and effective partnership working that Lindsey has instigated.

“With her leadership we have been able to develop a range of effective joint working initiatives which has proved the test of time. She will be sorely missed.”

C/Insp Finch, who started her career in Wycombe and enjoyed stints in Marlow, Slough, Wokingham and as a force trainer and negotiator, will officially retire in September.

She added: "I have seen many officers get promoted and move into specialisms they have wanted.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is that we have one of the lowest crime rates in Thames Valley Police and that is because of hard work by officers and the partners we work with.”



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