Dealing with an incident in Bridge Street  was Leigh Kitchen (far left) and Patricia (Tricia) Last, who served as a PC with Cambridgeshire Constabulary for 30 years
Dealing with an incident in Bridge Street was Leigh Kitchen (far left) and Patricia (Tricia) Last, who served as a PC with Cambridgeshire Constabulary for 30 years

Looking back: ‘Life of a police officer in 1980s Peterborough’

This week’s reunion photograph from Peterborough street photographer and paramedic Chris Porsz reveals the varied life of a police officer in the 1980s.

By Nigel Thornton
Sunday, 27th March 2022, 5:30 pm

Chris said: “The police were seen dealing with an incident outside the Town Hall and Gas Board show rooms in Bridge Street, Peterborough in the early 80s. Among them was Leigh Kitchen (far left) and Patricia (Tricia) Last, who served as a PC with Cambridgeshire Constabulary for 30 years.”

She retired in 2009 and moved to Cyprus but often returns to England to visit her two children and grandchild. She travelled back from Buckinghamshire to Peterborough for the reunion photo and said: “It was fun, I hadn’t been back for years.”

Patricia was also pictured by Chris in 1982 giving a shopper directions in the newly-opened Queensgate shopping centre.

She said: “When I first joined Cambridgeshire Constabulary I walked the streets of Peterborough city centre for nearly two years, while they taught me to drive and I learnt the basics of a police officer. Once I passed my driving test, I was driving the patrol cars on a certain beat area and answering calls from the public.

“At that stage we dealt with everything on our patch, including minor traffic incidents, domestics, crimes and sudden deaths. We were thrown in at the deep end and I remember the first deceased man I saw was a husband who had committed suicide and was found by his wife.

“On another occasion we were having a quiet night until we were called to assist the railway police dealing with the aftermath of a man who had jumped in front of a train.”

Tricia was in patrol cars for 10 years and around 2001 she moved into the Crime Management Unit. She added: “It effectively put a stop to police officers attending crime scenes unless it was deemed necessary by us. All crimes were inputted by the phone on to the computer and either allocated to a CID officer or filed as NFA.”

She later moved to the Domestic Violence Unit and later the Family Unit, dealing with sexual abuse within the family.

She then went onto join the Juvenile and Vulnerable Adult Unitand later became a Family Liaison Officer, dealing with the families of murder victims, including the Soham murders.

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