Norfolk’s head of Royal protection retires as Queen’s Diamond Jubilee starts

Chief Inspector Stuart Offord is leaving the force after 30 years service

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is an anniversary tinged with sadness for a Norfolk policeman who retires as head of the county's royal protection unit on Wednesday.

Chief Inspector Stuart Offord leaves the force after 30 years service just hours after the Queen heads out of Norfolk following her Christmas break and returns to Buckingham Palace.

Ch Insp Offord was at West Newton church on Sunday for his last church service on the Royal estate in his official capacity.

'It has been a special time and the role itself has been a huge honour,' he said.

Colleagues presented him with a cake made by Special Constable Liam Nicol which included a farewell message in Welsh as Ch Insp Offord is fluent in the language, having been brought up on Anglesey.

He has served with Norfolk police for his entire career and said he had no intention of leaving the county once he retires.

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'I love the county and will be staying,' he said.

Ch Insp Offord was head of the Royalty and VIP Protection team for four years and he also had the role of leading up the hostage negotiation team for Norfolk police. He said his team were called on an average of once a week to deal with situations.

'We are involved in potential suicides, domestic incidents and other areas which require skills at negotiation,' he said.

He was in King's Lynn on Monday when the Queen visited the Town Hall on the 60th anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI.

The monarch is due to return to London today (Tues) ahead of a busy year of celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee.

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