Tri-force ACC retires after leading COVID-19 response in Bedfordshire

After over 30 years of police and military service, ACC Paul Fullwood will be retiring from policing today (10 July).

By Holly Patel
Friday, 10th July 2020, 12:59 pm
Updated Friday, 10th July 2020, 1:00 pm

ACC Paul Fullwood, who was most recently the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) COVID-19 Gold Commander, is retiring after more than 30 years of police and military service.

Paul was due to retire in April but delayed his retirement to take on the BCH COVID-19 Gold Commander role, throughout that time he led the BCH Collaborated departments in their essential role in working with and supporting BCH local policing throughout the national crisis.

Paul said: “I am extremely fortunate to have had such an enjoyable, interesting and varied policing career.

After over30 years of police and military service, ACC Paul Fullwood will be retiring from policing

"I have worked with so many brilliant people across UK policing, some still serving, some retired and some sadly passed away.

"I have enjoyed every role I have undertaken and I hope I have made a small difference whether that be to colleagues, victims, their families and our communities along the way.”

At the age of 17 Paul joined the Armed Forces serving in the UK and also several overseas deployments.

He started his policing career in 1992 with Sussex Police working in Brighton in various uniform and detective roles. Paul transferred to Cambridgeshire in 2002 as a DI, was then seconded to the National Crime Squad working extensively overseas before returning in 2005 as DCI.

After over30 years of police and military service, ACC Paul Fullwood will be retiring from policing

He was promoted to Superintendent in 2008 where he spent the next five years managing core policing areas as well as Public Order Commander and Firearms Commander in several high profile events across Cambridgeshire.

In 2013 Paul returned to his crime background to lead the BCH Major Crime Unit during which he was involved in over 60 homicides and kidnaps in which the unit achieved over 3000 years of convictions across the strategic collaboration.

As the NPCC lead for PIP 4 (Strategic Investigator) he has championed this key area extensively with the College of Policing and UK senior detectives, supporting SIO’s, Gold Commander’s and future Chief Officers in managing high profile, sensitive and complex investigations.

In this role he has led on several high profile BCH enquires, the most notable being Operation Mansell, the 2014 re-investigation into the murder of 6-year-old Rikki Neave (1994) and then charging a suspect in 2020.

Paul added: “I have been fortunate to have been a detective at every rank. Working with so many professional, experienced, talented and inspirational individuals has been one of the highlights of my career. “

Paul became Detective Chief Superintendent Head of Crime for JPS before taking on the ACC role for JPS, responding to various challenges along the way. JPS has been described as one of the most successful “collaborations of specialist resources across UK policing” something Paul wholeheartedly agrees with.

“Over the years I have seen policing change immensely, however the most important lesson I have learnt is the value of our “people”.

"They can move mountains, inspire and amaze all by their character and sense of humour – I remain humbled to have worked with so many exceptional people who will remain friends for a very long time.”

Garry Forsyth, Chief Constable for Bedfordshire, said: “It has been my genuine pleasure to have Paul as a colleague leading JPS in all my time here in Bedfordshire Police.

"Paul is a skilled and highly credible individual who possesses the ability to secure the trust, respect and admiration of the whole workforce and our communities.

"I will miss his wise counsel, strong values and courage but wish him well in what I hope is a long and happy retirement.

"The fact that Paul delayed his retirement to see the collaboration through the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 is a mark of his character and tells you all you need to know about his selfless commitment to duty. Thank you, Paul.”

Paul will be taking a break with his family and then moving onto the next chapter in the months ahead whatever that may be.