A retired police officer who spent almost three decades making Beccles and Lowestoft safer has been remembered after his sudden death aged 61.

Stirling Parsk passed away at his home, near Norwich, on March 30.

His career saw him police the London 2012 Olympics, help protect world leaders at the Dublin G8 summit and join the search for murdered five-year-old April Jones.

He spent 29 years in the police force, starting his career in Lowestoft before his first spell in Beccles.

He then moved to Halesworth before returning to Beccles, where he spent 20 years on the patch.

Following his retirement, he worked as an urgent specimen porter at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and planned to travel with his wife Wendy when she retires in the coming years.

Eastern Daily Press: Wendy and Stirling Parsk.Wendy and Stirling Parsk. (Image: Wendy Parsk)

She said: "He was always so supportive of his family, and was always 100pc behind us.

"He was always putting other people first and could turn his hand to anything.

"He was such a comfortable person to be around.

"He was my best friend and I feel lost without him."

Father to Alix and Ria and step-father to James and Scott, Mr Parsk was also a grandfather-of-seven.

During his time working as a community police officer, Mr Parsk was responsible for addressing local issues within the town, and was a familiar face at schools, councils and businesses.

Speaking to this newspaper following his retirement in 2016 aged 55, he said: "I think it’s what I was most suited to do.

"I like to think I came across as approachable and got on with people and took up their problems.”

Eastern Daily Press: PC Stirling Parsk.PC Stirling Parsk. (Image: Suffolk Police)

In his nearly three decades in the police force, Mr Parsk attended countless accidents, crashes, fights and burglaries.

But one time that particularly stood out to him was when Julian Assange took up residence at Ellingham Hall.

The WikiLeaks founder had to report to Beccles police station every day, and Mr Parsk said: “It was a crazy time for Beccles, with all the attention it brought.”

But despite the high-profile cases he has worked on, which also include the Ipswich prostitute murders in 2006, Mr Parsk said he never lost sight of what was important to the people of Beccles.

“There are always small issues within the town which are big issues for those involved,” he said.

“They might be small things to somebody else, but not to the victim, and what I tried to do was help as much as I could to sort it out.

"I’m very proud of Beccles and thankful for the reaction I’ve had since I’ve retired.

“I don’t think you tend to realise what a difference you make to people.”

He qualified as a search officer in 2000, which saw him train in areas including counter terrorism, royal visits and protecting high profile targets.

His specialist skills were often required by forces across the country, but he had one particularly special responsibility in Beccles - organising the annual police variety show for the town’s senior citizens.

The show was aimed at showing police in a different light to any residents who rarely left their homes, and whose only contact with the police came after a crime.

A funeral service will take place in Norwich, on Friday, April 29.

No flowers, but donations are welcome to J R Whippet Rescue, and may be sent to Harveys Funeral Home, 1 Norwich Road, New Costessey, NR5 0EA.