A top cop from Hartlepool is retiring after 30 years of helping to keep communities safe from crime.
Chief Superintendent Paul Beddow has worked his way up through the ranks in a varied career that has involved tackling the scourge of drugs and saw him commended for tackling a machete-wielding bank robber.
Paul, 51, started his career with Cleveland Police in 1990.
He has been at Durham Constabulary since 2009 when he joined as a superintendant.
Paul, who was born in Jutland Road in the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool, said: “I’ve made so many memories while policing Cleveland and Durham and the ones that really stands out for me was my posting as Head of CID in my hometown of Hartlepool and being promoted to Head of Crime for Durham Constabulary.
“I have loved every minute of my service and I have met some remarkable people, it’s time for a new challenge whatever that will be.”
After leaving English Martyrs School at 16 Paul first worked in engineering at the town’s Power Station.
He applied to join the police after seeing an advert in the Mail and while at Cleveland Police, worked at all ranks in both operational, intelligence and CID roles.
Paul told the Mail in 2007 when he was appointed Detective Chief Inspector for the town: “No matter where I have worked, my heart has always been in Hartlepool.
“Hartlepool is a town I care about, and in my opinion there’s no bigger privilege than being able to work on your own patch.”
While based in the town, Paul received a commendation for tackling a man robbing a bank with a 14” machete.
During his time with Durham Constabulary, he managed a range of specialist areas including crime operations, major, serious, volume and priority crime, scientific support and criminal justice.
He was also responsible for 24/7 policing, firearms logistics and licencing, roads policing and custody.
In 2013, he was hailed a hero after he led 15 terrified holidaymakers to safety through the smoke-filled corridors of a Turkish hotel.
Quick-thinking Paul used the light on his phone to guide the terrified guests through the corridors and down flights of stairs, and outside to safety.
The dad-of-two joked: “I have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
A referee for a number of local football teams, Paul plans to use his retirement to concentrate on his position as Chairman of Billingham Town Football Club and go out fishing on his boat.
“There’s plenty of work to be done with the club and I’m ready to chuck myself into it,” he said.