Superintendent's account of life in the force

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 October 2011

David Hodges ex-policeman  with his new book  about his experiences as  a police, the Retret, cruseway Mark.

David Hodges ex-policeman with his new book about his experiences as a police, the Retret, cruseway Mark.

Archant

A SUPERINTENDENT, who fought to have an open relationship with the press and police force, has released an autobiography.

David Hodges, aged 66, of the Causeway, Mark, served for 30 years from in the Thames Valley police force.

Now retired, his autobiography Reflections In Blue, charts his progress through the ranks, which he said gives a true insight into the life of a police officer.

He said: “It’s all fact; I do not see the point in embellishing. It presents my time, warts and all. It talks about mistakes made by myself and others and the different aspects of policing, merged with my experiences.

“I’ve been writing since I was 11 years old, but when I was in the force I could not produce fiction relating to it, as it was frowned upon, so I had to wait 30 years.”

One of the key point of David’s story focuses on his involvement as a superintendent, in charge of corporate communications, and the fight to make the police force more open to the press and public.

He said: “One contribution I made during my time was openness with the press and public. I think that was the most important part I was involved in.

“We had a system of no comment and I saw this as destructive. I think it’s better to say something than nothing at all.

“We allowed the press into places like murder scenes, which we had never been able to do. Before this change it would have been unheard of.”

The married father of two also talks about the change of roles within the police force and his early days as a rural beat officer.

He said: “I tried to present things as they were during my time in the force, at a time when police work was very rewarding and supported by the public.

“When I was a rural beat policeman I was out on a bicycle. That was what it was all about. People may laugh at that, but it was a very nice image.

“Then we went into panda cars and we became faceless policemen.”

He said: “Through the book I wanted to show that police officers are human too, they have humour, and they live in the real world. We think it’s them and us and it isn’t.

“I have tried to cover that through the book and show how it was to actually patrol the beat with a wooden stick.”

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