Coronavirus: Retired detective to police Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge after answering call to return

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 April 2020

Pc Stuart Hepburn, 53, is among the first wave of retired officers to step in to help during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Pc Stuart Hepburn, 53, is among the first wave of retired officers to step in to help during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

A retired detective has returned to police the streets of east London during the coronavirus crisis.

Det Sgt Andrew Yeoman is among 10 former officers – with a combined 250 years of experience – to answer Commissioner Cressida Dick’s call to return to work.

The 48-year-old, who retired last year after 27 years of service, has now been deployed to investigate crime in the East Area boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, and Havering.

He 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.”

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Det Sgt Yeoman began his policing career in 1991 as a constable based in Ilford before training as a detective in 1998. He went on to work in investigative and covert roles with the homicide task force and the flying squad.

The first cohort of returning officers, who will be taking up roles across the capital, come from a variety of ranks and backgrounds.

They include Pc Stuart Hepburn, who worked for the parliamentary and diplomatic protection team to keep some of London’s most famous landmarks safe during his 30-year career.

The 53-year-old, who retired in 2017, will be dealing with emergency calls and said: “I felt I couldn’t sit at home and watch – I wanted to help, so I applied straight away.” A second wave of 17 returning officers has started training ahead of being deployed to the streets. More than 300 people who have retired within the past five years have applied to rejoin the Met to provide support during the pandemic.

Commissioner Dick said: “It is wonderful to see the first of our former colleagues joining us.

“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. 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.”

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