The East End’s longest serving special constable retires
TOWER Hamlets’ longest serving special constable is retiring after 26 years on the beat.
Arthur Sipthorpe, 68, can count saving a man from bleeding to death among his many achievements while pounding the streets of the East End as a volunteer officer.
Despite the three commendations under his belt, it was the enjoyment of “getting to meet people from all walks of life” which motivated him, he said.
The East Ender added: “I’ve always been able to speak to people on their level.
“You’ve got to treat people how you’d like to be treated.”
You may also want to watch:
Born and bred in Mile End, Mr Sipthorpe’s fascination with the force came about after a violent thug tried to steal his father’s car in the 1960s.
A scuffle broke out but an officer was soon on hand to arrest the crook.
- 1 Man killed after fall from Bow tower block
- 2 14 charged with alleged drug dealing and money laundering offences
- 3 19 arrested and cash seized in East End dawn drug raids
- 4 Revealed: The most popular baby names in your area in 2020
- 5 Panel finds gross misconduct proven against Pc arrested on suspicion of drug dealing
- 6 Why some families can't leave Bow's 'dangerous structure' tower block
- 7 Road and rail round-up: Disruptions to travel in east London this week
- 8 Prison sentence increased for 'violent and dangerous' man
- 9 Tower hamlets killing: £20,000 reward offered as two men sought for queries
- 10 The most expensive houses sold in your east London borough in August
The young East Ender had a newfound respect for the police but it took nine years to reach his dream of joining the force.
He was turned down time and again for being short-sighted and then too old – restrictions which are not around today.
He eventually made it as a special constable in 1984.
Specials do not get paid but have the same powers as regular officers.
The bobby’s biggest challenges include saving the stabbed man by stemming the flow of blood from his chest but he has also had a couple of close calls with his own life.
In one incident, Mr Sipthorpe pulled over a car and the passenger brought out a shotgun on him.
In another, he was threatened with a knife.
Mr Sipthorpe – who as his day job worked as head porter at Great Ormond Street hospital and then as a mortuary attendant – also visited New York after 9/11 to remember the Brits who died in the attack.
He flew to the city every year for a decade for the commemorative events.
After a lustrous career , Mr Sipthorpe is leaving his role on Tuesday.
For information on the specials go to metpolicecareers.co.uk/specials.