Top crimebuster to step down

One of Suffolk's leading detectives says his 39 years in the force has been a "fabulous job".Det Supt Roy Lambert joined Suffolk Constabulary as a police cadet in 1968 at the age of 17.

One of Suffolk's leading detectives says his 39 years in the force has been a "fabulous job".

Det Supt Roy Lambert joined Suffolk Constabulary as a police cadet in 1968 at the age of 17. He became a police constable two years later and, after working in Felixstowe and Brandon, was transferred to Lowestoft in 1975 as a detective constable.

He said: "I didn't join to be a detective superintendent. I only saw myself as being a constable.

"But I found I really enjoyed CID. I seemed to have an appetite for criminal investigations which has my theme all the way through.

"I got further than I thought I would."

Four years after becoming a detective, he was transferred to the Regional Crime Squad to target organised crime. During his time there, he was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct following the chase and arrest of an armed gunman near Wisbech.

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He said: "We had established that these criminals were going to rob a garden nursery. We arrested them in the act of committing the robbery. They ran off and we chased them and during the chase one of them fired a shotgun in my direction.

"It was in pitch black in the fens near Wisbech. I was chasing him and he was running away. All I could see was a strange flash and a bang. It happened so quickly. It was over in a flash. I was fortunate I wasn't hit.

"I was pretty angry for a while afterwards but it never put me off. I've loved every minute of what I've done."

He returned to Suffolk in 1982 as a detective sergeant on the drug squad at Suffolk police headquarters in Martlesham, and moved up through the ranks as uniformed patrol inspector, detective inspector and detective chief inspector.

In 1995 he was seconded to the regional crime squad as branch commander of the Mildenhall and Norwich branch offices. While there he was involved in several major operations against organised, professional criminals, including the arrest and jailing of the animal rights bomber Barry Horne in Bristol.

He returned to Suffolk police headquarters in 1999 as detective superintendent. As the force's most experienced senior investigating officer, he has cracked a series of high-profile inquiries including the Leoni Keating joint murder probe between Norfolk and Suffolk police, the Christopher Nugent murder and the murder of Capel St Mary pensioner Joan Albert, which resulted in the conviction of Simon Hall in February 2003.

Last year he secured the conviction of Kevin Nunn, who was found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Dawn Walker, in February 2005, and he is currently heading the investigation into the death of Ipswich prostitute Anneli Alderton.

He said: "These days it's a team game. No one can do it on their own. That's the challenge, galvanising everyone together and getting the right result."

Det Supt Lambert, who is 55, steps down on May 28 but, following a short break, he will return in a civilian role as the case progression manager on Operation Sumac, the investigation into the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich.

He said: "I will miss the buzz of working with a team of people and making things happen.

"I have been in the constabulary for 39 years, which is a long time. It's given me opportunities I might not have had otherwise. It was a fabulous job."

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