Police inspector retires after career that included terrorist attacks and bumping into Joanna Lumley

Inspector Shaun Daniel
Inspector Shaun Daniel

A POLICE officer whose 30-year career has included terrorist attacks and bumping into Joanna Lumley on the stairs is bidding a fond farewell to the force.

Inspector Shaun Daniel, who leads one of the response teams covering the Calderdale division, is retiring from West Yorkshire Police.

The 49-year-old said he will miss his colleagues and the variety of the job.

“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “I’ve seen some horrible things but I’ve also seen some wonderful things.”

Inspector Daniel said he wanted a job outside of the sleepy village in Lancashire where he grew up.

He joined the police in February 1982, working for The Metropolitan Police.

He was one of the first of the scene at the IRA bomb blast in Hyde Park in July 1982. The explosion killed two soldiers and injured 23 others.

“It was awful,” he said. “That kind of thing stays with you.”

There were also members of his team killed in a car bomb attack near Harrods in December 1983.

Three police officers and three members of the public were killed, and 75 others were injured.

But as well as these horrific incidents, Inspector Daniel said he had many positive experiences while serving with The Met.

As his beat covered Chelsea, spotting celebrities was a regular occurrence.

“I often used to see Bob Geldolf and I once bumped into Joanna Lumley on some stairs,” he said.

“I also did guard duty at Buckingham Palace.”

He enjoyed his time with the force, he said, but when he found robbers with a shotgun trying to evade police in his garden, he said his wife was keen for them to move.

Inspector Daniel left The Met in 1987 to join West Yorkshire Police and was posted to Calderdale.

He spent his first five years patrolling Mixenden and Illingworth in Halifax.

He also worked in Elland before joining the police air support unit as an air observer, later training other officers to become air observers.

Inspector Daniel then moved to Bradford as a visional trainer and then back to Calderdale where he has worked in the Upper Valley neighbourhood policing team and most recently the response team.

“I see retirement as the next natural progression,” he said.

“There are other projects that I want to take on.”

Those projects include becoming chairman of the British Alpaca Society, a role which sees him organising the World Alpaca Conference International Fleece Show in Oxford in April.

“Working in the police, you get to see the worst and best of people,” he said.

“Although the worst things stick with you, you get to see more of the best of people.