A RETIRED police officer who served with the Met in the Seventies at the height of the IRA bombings is back on the beat after becoming Halstead’s newest special constable.

David Jeffcott, 69, will join Michael Mihalyfi and Aaron Rulton after becoming the town’s third community special constable.

Mr Jeffcott had been a police officer since the 1970s before he retired ten years ago.

He served in the Met and at Heathrow and Stansted airports.

His son is a PC with Colchester’s local policing team and his wife worked as a PC at Heathrow Airport.

Mr Jeffcott was sworn in and picked up his warrant card at a special ceremony earlier this month.

He said: “I’m physically and mentally fit and I wanted to give a little more back to Halstead.

“Just playing golf and riding around on a Harley Davidson isn’t that fulfilling.

“It is enjoyable but I think it’s also important to realise retirement doesn’t mean not contributing

“I spent most of my working life in enforcement but I think I’m a bit ‘old school’, so it’s going to a new and exciting chapter in my life.

“It would be wrong of me not to use the skills I have and the background I’ve got.

“I want to put them to good use on the High Street and get back on patrol.”

The town’s special constables are designed to boost police presence on the streets after the police station closed.

Mr Jeffcott’s appointment was overseen at the ceremony by town councillor Garry Warren.

Mr Warren said: “The special constable program is important to the whole community.

“There has been a perception of a lack of police presence, especially since we lost the police station.

“It felt like we had been abandoned but the police and town council are committed to working together to make people feel safer and to bring back confidence in our police.

Halstead Gazette: Cllr Garry Warren was pleased with the appointment.Cllr Garry Warren was pleased with the appointment.

Halstead Town Council had been involved in the hunt for a new special constable and is funding the community policing program in Halstead.

Mr Warren added: “A couple of years ago, we lost the police station and a lot of people were unhappy.

“Essex Police suggested that towns and parish councils like us should help to support community policing.

“We think it is important to build bridges with the police.”

He added: “I met David last night. He lives in Halstead and you can tell that he feels strongly about our community.”

“The training and selection of constables had a high fallout rate. A lot of people might not know this but special constables have the same powers and the same training as the police.

“We’re just happy that we’ve now got three special constables in the town whose main priority is Halstead.”

Mr Jeffcott was one of 14 new special constables sworn in by Essex Police last week.

Chief Supt Cat Barrie, who heads the Essex force’s Special Constabulary, said: “It’s a new decade and a new year and I can’t think of a better way to start it – by welcoming 14 people to our force family.

“There are some really exciting projects going on within the Special Constabulary to help people to innovate and to lead.

“The new year brings new challenges and aspirations and last week we received 22 special constable applications.”

Anyone interested in becoming a special constable should visit essex.police.uk.