Former police officer retires after nearly 50 years of service

One of Northumbria Police’s longest serving employees has hung-up his uniform for the last time after nearly five decades.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 15th November 2021, 8:00 am
Stephen Cochrane is retiring after 47 years with Northumbria Police.
Stephen Cochrane is retiring after 47 years with Northumbria Police.

Stephen Cochrane started with the Force in 1974 – the year that Stephen King published his debut novel and President Richard Nixon resigned from office.

Now 47 years later and the former officer is preparing to wave goodbye to his colleagues and start a well-deserved retirement.

Stephen said: “I was always determined to become a police officer, I wanted to make our communities safer and catch the bad guys!”

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Stephen Cochrane is retiring after 47 years with Northumbria Police.

Stephen served as a police officer for 34 years, starting out in Ashington and working throughout the south east of Northumberland as a beat officer.

In 1994, Stephen was promoted to Sergeant, where he worked with CID covering Newcastle’s West End.

In 1997, he moved back to Northumberland, taking responsibility for the area’s Anti-Social Behaviour Unit.

When retirement came calling in 2007, Stephen did not feel ready to leave the Force he loved, taking on a role as a Police Staff Licensing Co-ordinator.

Stephen said: “It was a great career then and it’s a great career now.

“It is a demanding, challenging job, shift work is hard and at times the job can quite easily take over your life.

“As a dad-of-two I did find being an officer and raising a family had its challenges.

“My family, especially my wife who sadly passed away in 2011, were always supportive and it is refreshing to see that staff wellbeing is paramount and flexible working with an emphasis on protecting family life is now a key part of the police ethos.”

Offering advice to any budding officers out there, he said: “I have always considered Northumbria Police excellent employers.

“I’ve had an extremely varied and exciting career, I got to catch bad guys just liked I’d hoped as a child!

"But more importantly, I got to help the good guys too, the victims, and make communities safer.

“I really want to thank everyone I have worked with, especially my colleagues in the Neighbourhood Policing teams for their assistance over the past few years and wish my fellow Licensing Co-ordinators well for the future.

“To anyone considering a career with the police, do it – you won’t regret it, I never did!”

Northern Area Commander Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton said: “I would like to thank Stephen for his many years of dedication – I know he has made a difference not only to the communities he has served but also to the colleagues he has served alongside.

“His commitment to policing and the North East is a shinning example to us all, including anyone who may be considering joining the Force.

“Stephen’s official last day with Northumbria Police may have been at the end of last month but he will remain part of the Northumbria Police family forever.

“We all wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement.”

Grandfather of four Stephen has lots of exciting plans in place for his retirement, including a cruise around the Caribbean with his partner Linda and spending lots of time with his family, who live both locally and in Scotland.