With a career in the police force spanning just over three decades, West Yorkshire Deputy Chief Constable Jawaid Akhtar has finally called time on his dedicated service.
Back in Huddersfield where it all began some 32 years ago, DCC Akhtar was accompanied by his son and colleague, Moshin, for one final patrol of the town before hanging up his boots for good.
The 56-year-old will perhaps be remembered most as the senior officer at the lead of the Bradford ‘Crossbow Cannibal’ case which saw three women brutally murdered by Stephen Griffiths.
Speaking after his final shift, DCC Akhtar said: “I am extremely proud to have served West Yorkshire’s communities for almost 32 years.
“The challenges and the way we police have changed vastly in that period, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.”
Born in Pakistan, the Yorkshire resident arrived in the UK at the age of 10, settling in Huddersfield where he went on to attend local school and college before completing a BSc (Hons) degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
In 1982 DCC Akhtar joined the West Yorkshire Police Force under the Graduate Entry Scheme, with his first posting in Huddersfield. Since then he has gone on to serve the whole county, rising through the ranks to become one of the most senior, currently serving, BME officers in the country.
Mr Akhtar took up his current role as Temporary Deputy Chief Constable in November 2012 having previously acted as the Assistant Chief Constable since 2004.
Mark Gilmore, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, spoke in tribute to his Deputy and said the time he had spent working alongside him had been a ‘privilege’.
He said: “I want to pay tribute to Jawaid Akhtar for the very significant and selfless contribution he has made to West Yorkshire Police, to our communities and to British Policing for almost 32 years.
“His depth of knowledge, integrity, sound advice and ability to challenge issues in a positive and robust way have been a real asset to West Yorkshire Police and indeed the British Police Service.
“I would like to join with all colleagues in wishing Jawaid every success for his retirement. I know he will be greatly missed, not only by his Chief Officer Team colleagues, but also, I suspect, across the organisation.”
Likewise, Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, added his sentiments for his colleague,
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Jawaid for many years, particularly following his appointment as an Assistant Chief Constable back in 2004.
“It will seem strange not having Jawaid around West Yorkshire Police, but he has clearly earned a successful retirement after nearly 32 years dedicated service to WYP and the public of West Yorkshire.
“It is fantastic that he was able to join his son Mohsin on patrol during his last working day where it all started for him in Huddersfield… clearly his legacy will live on.”
DCC Akhtar was not only highly regarded by his fellow professionals but also on a much wider scale as highlighted by his acceptance of the Queen’s Police Medal at Buckingham Palace in December 2011.
West Yorkshire Police’s new deputy chief constable, Dee Collins, took up the vacant post on Monday and will continue to build on the work of her predecessor.
Arrives in the UK at the age of 10 and settles in Huddersfield
Joined West Yorkshire Police under the Graduate Entry Scheme, posted in Huddersfield
Takes up First Divisional Command at Halifax
Appointed Assistant Chief Constable holding several portfolios
Graduated from the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Programme in the US
Received the Queen’s Police Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List
Completed the international Leadership in Counter Terrorism programme
Took up his latest role as the Temporary Deputy Chief Constable
Retired from the force with a final patrol in Huddersfield