Elmbridge bids farewell to neighbourhood inspector David Hollingsworth

This Is Local London: Retiring: David Hollingsworth Retiring: David Hollingsworth

Elmbridge’s neighbourhood inspector hangs up his hat and hands over the baton after a 30-year career in the police.

Thursday, December 12, marks Inspector David Hollingsworth’s last working day at Surrey Police before his retirement from the force on January 1.

Insp Hollingsworth worked his first shift in the police the day before his 25th birthday and has worked in a number of roles in the past 30 years.

On April 1, 1998, Insp Hollingsworth began working in the borough and was in charge of Walton, Weybridge and Hersham for three years before becoming partnership manager of Spelthorne, Elmbridge and Epsom in 2001.

Before his return to Elmbridge in February 2011, Insp Hollingsworth also worked in the Home Office’s antisocial behaviour unit and at Surrey Police’s headquarters in Guildford.

Highlights of his career include keeping the crime rate down and it continuing to decrease, reducing the amount of antisocial behaviour on St John’s estate, Walton, and working during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Insp Hollingsworth said: “Retiring now gives me 10 to 15 years to do something else. I’m going to take some time out first and be very lazy for a couple of months and do some sightseeing; I want to do some travelling.”

Although retiring from the force, Insp Hollingsworth intends to continue working.

He said: “I am not a businessman so can’t see myself doing that. I have been doing public service for 34 years now and I enjoy public service.

"I enjoy the work and the challenges that go with it. But I think that as a police officer, you get so many skills as you go along that you can use in any kind of job. It is about finding the job that does it for me.”

Handing over his warrant card and uniform this week is what will make it seem real, Insp Hollingsworth said, but he will walk away with many fond memories.

He said: “I have made some great friendships over the years and I will miss that. I will miss the ability to put my hat on and walk around if I want. That has always been the best part of being a police officer.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my career with Surrey Police and every day has been something different. I am very lucky in that and I hope I enjoy the rest of my career as much as this. I will miss it and I wish Sarah all the best.”

Sarah Milligan, who has 16 years in the police, will take over as the new neighbourhood inspector for Elmbridge.

She said: “I am looking forward to the new challenges it will bring. It is a completely different area to where I have worked previously although I worked in the borough as a police constable.

“It is exciting times for neighbourhood policing at the moment as there are lots of challenges on the horizon and I want to keep building on the good work David started with his team.”

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