Retiring Calderdale detective puts away his pocket book

Detective Inspector Ashley Hewitt
Detective Inspector Ashley Hewitt

His first shift saw him getting hit across the face with a fencing panel within hours of starting duty.

But 30 years of policing later, and Detective Inspector Ashley Hewitt is retiring with fond memories of the force.

Detective Inspector Ashley Hewitt

Detective Inspector Ashley Hewitt

He is stepping down from his post at Calderdale CID after six years in the role.

“I’ll miss the camaraderie of the police,” he said.

“I’ve made some really good friends and I’ll miss them.”

Detective Inspector Hewitt joined the police aged 19 in 1982, based at Odsal and working as a community beat officer in Buttershaw.

He went home from his first shift with a bust lip after getting hit with a fence panel while helping apprehend a man who was attacking a special constable.

“It didn’t put me off,” he said. “The post was excellent grounding for me, getting to know the people and the area of my beat.”

He became a detective in 1986 and worked in CID until 1996 when he joined the Major Crime Unit in Leeds.

He was posted to Halifax in 2001 as a response sergeant, bringing him to the area where he has always lived.

He spent a few years back in Bradford before returning to Calderdale in 2006 as a detective inspector.

The post meant he was back working with Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson - a colleague who started 18 months after him at Odsal, then got posted to Leeds with him and then was at Halifax when he returned. Det Insp Hewitt said he is immensely proud of the work he and his colleagues have been able to achieve since 2006, including cutting violent crime by 50 per cent, home break-ins by 20 per cent and vehicle thefts by 60 per cent.

Divisional Commander for Calderdale Police Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern said: “Det Insp Hewitt has been a career detective, working on some of the most high profile cases across West Yorkshire.

“As a divisional Detective Inspector he has brought all of his skill and experience to serve the people of Calderdale by ensuring that those who commit serious crime are brought to justice.

“He will be missed by all of us, but we wish him well for the future.”

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Long added: “Det Insp Hewitt has been a valued leader in Calderdale, managing Serious and Complex Crime.

“In addition to leading criminal investigations, he has been a key part of policing the area, resulting in massive reductions in levels of reported vehicle and burglary crimes.”