Tributes paid to former Norfolk police officer of more than 50 years

Alan Swain. Picture: Swain family

Alan Swain. Picture: Swain family - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to Alan Swain, a Norfolk police officer who served with the force for more than 50 years.

Mr Swain died aged 70 last month at his home in Hethersett of an incurable lung disease.

He had worked for the police all his working life.

He had joined the police in Nottinghamshire as a police cadet at 16, then became a police officer at 19 and in his early 20s he transferred to Norfolk Police at Fakenham.

Mr Swain served all over Norfolk, as a sergeant at Cromer, Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

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He also served as an Inspector at Thetford Police Station, and also as acting Chief Inspector and Superintendent at stations including King's Lynn and Dereham.

His last years as a police Inspector were in the Professional Standards Department.

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On retiring he became the first civilian PSD case investigator.

He retired after 53 years' service in September 2018.

Mr Swain was also a keen fisherman and won the police national cup, fishing all over the country with the police team. Space travel was another of his passions and he attended three manned shuttle take-offs at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Each year over the last 30 years he travelled to Orlando to fish, meet different astronauts and continue adding to his collection of Disney watches and memorabilia.

More than 100 police and civilian staff colleagues, fishing team members, family and friends attended a celebration of life service for Mr Swain at Hethersett Village Hall, hosted by is wife, Vanda, his son Alan Jnr and his daughter Abbe, where a 25-minute video showing the highlights of his life and work were shown.

Many tributes have been paid to him by email and social media, and one typical entry read: "I loved working with that man - he was such an extraordinary special bloke and whenever our paths crossed he left me feeling so much better. It's stalwarts like Alan that made policing Norfolk such a worthwhile and enjoyable way to spend one's working life."

-Did you know Mr Swain? Email your tributes to

Further tributes

15 years into my police service, I was moved from Swaffham to Thetford ,which initially I was not happy about,because it was regarded as a punishment posting, but Alan Swain became my supervisory inspector, and it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Within 6 months I was trusted with a move to the Mundford beat where supervision was minimal, and spent 8 wonderful years patrolling the Thetford forest and Stanta battle area and surrounding villages,all thanks to him.

100% respect and affection for him.

Colin Hodge Pc 18 (retired)

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