Met Police officers come out of retirement to help London

Back on the beat for lockdown: 10 Met Police officers – with 250 years shared experience – return from retirement to bolster the force during Covid crisis

  • Ten retired police officers have returned to London’s streets to help out
  • Commissioner Cressida Dick asked ex cops to return during the Covid-19 crisis
  • PC Stuart Hepburn, 53, is returning to the same beat he started on 30 years ago 
  • Serving Met Police officers are being asked to delay their retirement  
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

The first 10 police officers to come out of retirement and help during the Covid-19 pandemic have returned to the streets today.

Retired officers including a murder detective and a police constable with 30 years experience under his belt are part of a team of former cops that have more than 250 years of experience between them. 

PC Stuart Hepburn, 53, retired from the Met in 2017 after 30 years of service, on Tuesday he joined the emergency reponse team responding to calls in Kensington, Chelsea, Hammersmith, Fulham and Westminster.

PC Stuart Hepburn is one of 10 Met Police officers to return to the beat on Tuesday, he will be responding to emergencies across London including Oxford Street, where he started 30 years ago

Ten officers including PC Stuart Hepburn, 53, returned to duty on Tuesday, while 17 started training as they come out of retirement to help out during the coronavirus pandemic

His Westminster beat also covers Oxford Street, where he first started out as a bobby, before joining the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection team, protecting iconic sites in the Capital.

Speaking today PC Hepburn said: ‘I had no doubts about returning to help my colleagues and serve London once again. I felt I couldn’t sit at home and watch, I wanted to help, so I applied straight away. I’m looking forward to seeing old colleagues again and the camaraderie that comes with the ‘job’ that is really like no other.”

Detective Sergeant Andrew Yeoman, 48, retired in 2019 after 27 years service Scotland Yard.

After starting out in Ilford, he trained as a detective in 1998, going on to work investigative and covert roles with the Homicide Task Force and the Flying Squad. He was later seconded to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

DS Yeoman is joining the East BCU, where he will be investigating crime in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering.

DS Yeoman said: ‘I just felt I had to come back and help because that is what I joined to do all those years ago. The process of returning has been quick and I am looking forward to the challenge and the rewards that come with policing in London all over again.’

While 10 retired officers returned to the streets today, another 17 began training at Hendon as they prepare to be re-deployed.

More than 50 former officers have now applied to return as members of the Special Constabulary where they will be committing to at least 16 hours a week. Other officers are amongst more than 300 people who want to volunteer with the Met. 

Serving Met Police officers are being asked to delay their retirement during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has asked her officers to delay retiring until after the coronavirus pandemic is over

Commissioner Cressida Dick said: ‘It is wonderful to see the first of our former colleagues joining us this week. 

‘Their valuable skills and experience are helping increase the Met’s resilience and allow us to be even more flexible in providing the best service we can to London during this unprecedented time as the country – and the Capital – responds to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

‘I am very grateful to all of them for not hesitating to come back and not surprised they still hold strong the same desire to help people and keep people safe as the very first day they joined. 

‘I have no doubt they will join their colleagues in displaying the best of British policing values at this challenging time for us all.’

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