Alf HitchcockSad passing of former Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock

 

“It was with great personal sadness that I was informed of the death of Alf Hitchcock on Friday morning.  I first met Alf when we both served in the Metropolitan Police and I instantly admired his warmth towards people and his values towards policing and the communities that we are here to serve. Recently I attended a ceremony to celebrate those residents of Bedfordshire who had received an award in the Queen’s honours list. I rang Alf and told him I would be attending to support all the recipients but especially him for the award of his CBE. Alf was a gentleman, a man that everyone has a kind and positive word for, with that super smile that brightened up everyone’s day.

 

“He was a huge help and support for me as the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire, a job that he had performed with elegance and supreme grace previously. The police service has lost a great servant, a humble man who always did what he believed was right.

 

“My deepest sympathy and the thoughts of the entire force are with his wife and their two daughters at this difficult time. I have had numerous people contact me about his untimely death including the Commissioner Cressida Dick and we are all shocked and immensely saddened by the premature loss of such a kind, generous and humble man.” 

 

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher

 


Messages of condolence

 

You can email us with your messages of condolence. Messages will then be collated and given to Alf's family. Some messages may also be displayed on this web page. If you do not wish your message to be displayed, please include this in the email.

 

Kim Stronner

 

I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock.  He came across as such a friendly, warm person and was genuinely interested in what you had to say. I remember him having one of the best smiles and it instantly brightened my day.

 

I remember a day that will always stick in my mind when I was getting ready to leave from work in a rush and I was struggling to put on my coat whilst juggling my bag. As I tried to do this, I caught my head with my watch, cutting it and I must admit, thinking no one was around, let out a couple of expletives. I was shocked and embarrassed when I turned round to see Alf standing at the top of the stairs, chuckling at me but smiling. I was extremely apologetic at the language I had used but all he was concerned about was that I slowed down and got home safely. Needless to say he had spotted my name badge and each time I saw him after that, he would greet me by my name and ask how my head was, each time chuckling at the memory of seeing me wrestling with my coat and bag.

 

My deepest sympathy goes out to his family at this awful and difficult time but I hope that it is made a little easier knowing that their Husband, Father and Grandfather was a wonderful and very well respected man who will be sadly missed by all of those that had the pleasure of meeting him.

 

Trevor Bates

 

I always had a high regard for Alf when I had the pleasure of working for him when he was the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire.  Always ready to listen and solve a problem if it was within his power.  His sense of humour and gentlemanly ways were admired and revered throughout the force.  It was a sad day when we lost him as Chief Constable and an even sadder day when the world lost him altogether.  My condolences to his family at this difficult time, please be assured that he will not be forgotten.

R.I.P Alf.

 

Isi Billington

 

Please accept my sincere condolences for your tragic loss. I will remember Alf as a very kind and compassionate man who was always pleasant and gave you the time of day each and every time you came into contact with him no matter who you were or how busy he was. He treated everybody the same which is a rare quality when somebody reaches his level and that together with his lovely smile made you feel appreciated.

 

I cannot imagine how you all must be feeling but I hope you find some comfort in what I’m sure will be the many messages you will receive as he made such an impression on many people.

 

You are in my prayers.


Gavin Hughes-Rowlands

 

You will not be forgotten, your smile and energy for life and your work was infectious and you always had time for people, regardless of who they were.

 

Jim Mallen

 

Alf Hitchcock was an excellent Chief Constable and leader whilst with Bedfordshire Police.

 

Alf always made time for people and listened, and more importantly acted on what was said. A passionate police officer, a proud husband and a doting father.His legacy lives on within Bedfordshire and it is so sad he has died at such a young age.

 

My thoughts are with Alf’s wife Helen, his two daughters and his wider family.

 

Anthony Whinnet

 

Such sad and shocking news to hear about the sudden passing of Mr Hitchcock. I was fortunate enough to be presented my Long Service Medal by Mr Hitchcock and remember our cup of tea and chat with much fondness. A fantastic and inspirational Police officer who was a real “Coppers Copper”.

 

My thoughts go to his family, friends and colleagues.

 

Emanuele Cipolloni

 

When I decided to start my policing career and leave London a few years ago, I started to research the forces surrounding it, reading every article that I could find in the public press.

 

This how I came across Bedfordshire Police and this is how a heard about Alf Hitchcock and all the good things he did for the force and the public. Unfortunately shortly before I joined, he left the force so I never had the honour of working with him but I still have those articles that inspired and resonate with me and so many other colleagues who had the pleasure of knowing him personally.

 

Rest in peace.

 

Matt Taylor

 

I would firstly like to pass on my personal heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr Hitchcock. My thoughts and prayers are very much with them at this sad and difficult time.

 

I had the pleasure of working under Mr Hitchcock as my chief Constable early on in my Policing career, it was refreshing to see how involved he was with his officers on the ground and I saw him many times in around Luton Police station engaging with all members of staff that he could and he always had a warm and approachable air about him which I admired. I had the pleasure of conversing with Alf on a number of occasions, both in general conversation and work related and I always felt at ease and comfortable in my conversations and interactions with him.

 

Alf will long remain with me as a wonderful Chief Constable and as a person and I hope that this message provides a small amount of comfort in how much Alf was cared about and respected during his time with Bedfordshire Police.

 

All of my condolences.

 

Matthew Thompson

 

I first met Alf when he visited the Traffic base at Halsey Road, he sat there politely drinking the cup of tea that I made him throughout the shift briefing before telling everyone in the room that he now realised why it had been getting stronger and stronger as he listen to the briefing…..I had left the tea bag in it! 

 

Shortly after that I became his Staff Officer where he taught me how to make a proper cup of tea.

 

I was Alf’s staff officer until he left Bedfordshire, and to this date I remain his Staff Officer for his national knife crime portfolio which enabled me to continue working with him.  He was a great man to work for and to have known as a friend over the last five years.  Alf was popular, intelligent, had good humour, but was very down to earth and genuinely kind.  It is so terribly sad and my deepest sympathies go to Helen and is two daughters who he adored and often spoke about.  He will be a huge loss to his family, to policing and all that knew him….but his memory will live on and he will always be remembered as ‘one of the best’.

 

Lorraine Johnson

 

Like many of my colleagues, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Alf’s illness and parting.  Such a cheerful and approachable soul who was never too important or too busy to speak with those who served with him.  He was like sunshine in a uniform with his ever- ready smile and fabulous disposition, no matter how busy or pressured he was – one of life’s genuine good guys.   A huge loss to the policing family. 

Thinking of Alf’s family and friends at this time. 

 

Charity Murray

 

Was sad to hear about the passing of Alf Hitchcock.  When he was Chief Constable in Bedfordshire he made an effort to talk to everyone, no matter their rank or role.  His gentle nature made me feel valued and he always took the time to say hello when he walked by anyone in the building.  Condolences to his family, such a great loss.

 

Elaine Rees

 

So, so sad to hear of the loss of Alf.  I recall with a smile, the days of Strictly Bedford and his enthusiastic dancing skills, which may have needed a little polishing in some places (!), the stories and the laughs we all shared.  Such a charming, witty, funny and above all charming gentleman with the most infectious smile.  I hope that the knowledge that Alf was so highly regarded by all of those who came to meet and know him, whether in business or pleasure, will go some way to offering comfort to his family who will always feel his loss the most. 

 

RIP Alf, thank you for being such a lovely man.

 

Phillip Boyd

 

I cannot say that I knew Mr Hitchcock particularly well but I met him on several occasions only a year or so after transferring to Bedfordshire Police from Durham Constabulary. The first of which after a long conversation about my move, role and how I was finding things, he asked me whereabouts in Wales I was from. Had I been from Wales that would have made complete sense but at that time my fairly strong North-East accent was clear to all but what was also very clear is that Mr Hitchcock knew that too as he stood straight faced waiting for my reaction but with that slight smirk appearing to show he knew exactly what he was doing. Do many Chief Constables joke with their front line Sergeants like that?! Not from my experience. My family found that hysterical and so did I!

 

He also took the time to speak to me a few years back a year or so after he had left Bedfordshire Police as I bumped into him in FROSTS GARDEN CENTRE, WILLINGTON. I was with my very young son (1 and a half at the time) and he recognised me and came over to say hello asking how I was doing as I asked how his new role was. As my son inevitably got bored and ran away as I apologised for not introducing him and told Mr Hitchcock he was called Alfred. Mr Hitchcock very quickly replied ‘great name’ as he smiled and wished me good luck as I ran to find my exceptionally quick son. 

 

It takes a lot for a Chief Constable to reach out to all the front line Officers but he made a lasting impression on me. Perhaps not on my son that bears the same great name but definitely on me. My thoughts are with you all.

 

Christina Lack

 

I was very fortunate to meet Alf Hitchcock at least a couple of times, his smile just brightened your day.  He had charisma that is a very rare quality.  He also came over as very humble, kind man, who always remembered your name.  I used to joke with him and say he looked like Paul McCartney and he laughed.

 

When I heard of his passing, I was so sad, and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children and family, at this very sad time.

 

Anne Fowler

 

I met Alf Hitchcock when I was working in Child protection at Luton and he came to visit the office. He spoke to me in depth and was genuinely interested in the world I was working in. A few months later I passed an informally dressed man in HQ canteen and as he walked past me he gave me a big smile and said ‘Hello Annie’. I was baffled. Who was this person? Then it dawned on me that this very happy chappy was our Chief Constable! How much admiration I had for a man of his position to acknowledge me and REMEMBER my name in passing when his time could be taken up by so many other things.

 

I have always remembered him to others for this act and had only mentioned it to a colleague the day before I found out that he was seriously unwell. I have always looked for the best in other officers through my 20 year career and have tried to emulate their positive behaviours. I took a lot from Alf Hitchcock that day for such a small act. If I can be half the police officer and have half the reputation that Alf Hitchcock had throughout his career I would be more than happy. A role model that we should all look up to He will be fondly remembered and missed. My thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends at this sad time.

 

Saundra Glenn

 

As an ordinary citizen who engaged with him in my former role I am deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock CBE.

 

My sincere condolences are conveyed in this message for his family, friends, colleagues and loved ones. Remembering Alf, I was supposed to follow up on a conversation we had at a Black Mental Health Conference and his commitment to supporting this and many diverse arenas and difficult topics. My regret is not having that one last conversation with him because this is an unexpected exit too soon for a man with so much work left to accomplish. The news of his passing shook me and anyone that received it. If there is any comfort in Alf’s dash, the time for mapping accomplishments from date of birth to date of passing, his is exemplary.

 

Alf’s easy style of communicating and engaging helped me in my role as the former Chair of the Luton Independent Advisory Group to Bedfordshire Police. His open door policy meant that I felt able to approach him on a raft of challenging issues, including allegations against members of his own force. He promised follow up and delivered. He promised confidentiality and delivered. He promised safeguarding of me in my role and he delivered. I will be forever grateful and eternally indebted to him for his respect of my leadership and position. Because of him I was empowered to be more committed at times of ill health and less ability. I was able to contribute more fully towards improving the way that Bedfordshire Police operated in its business.

 

Thank you Alf. You will be remembered as a compassionate and empathetic leader with a true passion for diversity, equality and inclusion. May you rest in peace.

 

Sarah Byrne

 

I only spoke to Alf twice in passing but he was so polite and genuine. I remember he spoke to all staff across the board in the same way. I’m sure he will be missed by many.

 

Stef Crichton

 

I always remember with great fondness, Mr Hitchcock’s big wide smile, which could always light up a room.

 

I remember having my long service ceremony a few years ago, at the time Mr Hitchcock was our Chief Constable. My family were the last to have their family photographs taken on the night, probably because we were in the bar whilst the other families had their turn.

 

Mr Hitchcock was very amenable with the photographs, and posed quite happily for all the photographs we wanted, me and my Husband, Me with my brothers, me and my In-laws etc…

 

Not once did he tire, or show any impatience, but carried on smiling and happily had his photograph taken, and that will live long in my memory.

 

I still have the photographs to prove it, of which I am very proud.  He was so photogenic.

 

I don’t think I would have wanted any other Chief Constable to have given me my long service medal than Mr Hitchcock.

 

His passing is a big loss, both to the Policing family, and to his family and friends, and he will be sadly missed.

 

Rest in Peace Sir.

 

Martin Oldham

 

Was gutted to read on my return from holiday of Alf’s death. He was a truly great man, an excellent Police Officer and a fine leader of men. He is a very sad loss for us all but a considerable loss to the Justice system in this land.

 

Lucy Hurdle

 

I am so saddened at the passing of Alf, a gentleman through and through and one of the kindest people I have ever met. Working with Alf was an absolute pleasure, he was a press officer’s dream – so charming with journalists and at ease in answering difficult questions.

 

Alf had a cracking sense of humour and he will be missed greatly by all those who knew him.

 

My thoughts are with his family at such a difficult time.

 

Joyce Nethersole

 

I was both proud and privileged to be a member of Bedfordshire Police Staff whilst Mr Hitchcock was the Chief Constable.

 

He was a thorough gentleman, caring about the community he served and every single employee of the Force.  He was always approachable and his smile was so infectious.

 

I was really saddened that the police service had lost such a brilliant officer and all of us a friend.

 

Debbie Southerden

 

I was so shocked and saddened to hear that Alf had passed away so suddenly. Such a kind, caring and lovely man who had time for everyone no matter who they were. He was always happy to speak with you when he saw you and was genuinely interested in what everyone had to say and he would always give you one of those lovely smiles.

 

I was working in the Force Executive at the time Alf was Chief Constable and covered for his PA when she was on leave. It was a pleasure to work for him. A truly inspirational man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. My thoughts and condolences are with his wife Helen, and their two daughters and families.

 

Keith Jackson

 

My sincere condolences to Alf’s family and close friends in their sad loss.

 

I had retired before Alf took up his post as Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police but our paths crossed quite often, usually during the evenings when I was working on the Museum cabinets in the HQ Foyer. We would exchange a few words and what always struck me was that he was genuinely interested in what I was doing. With that wonderful smile and openness Alf was one of those people I felt privileged to have met and will live long in my memory.

 

Claire Ackerman du Preez

 

I first met Alf when I was an Inspector in the Force Control Room. He would frequently pop in to check that everything was OK. He always made everyone feel like they mattered and was so easy to talk to with his sincere and personable nature. It was clear to see how he would make a lasting impression on those he met. 

 

My favourite and proudest police service photographs are those taken with him at an awards ceremony where he patiently and dutifully stood to have photos taken by the force photographer for what seemed like ages, with us both in our number one uniform with my family and then photos again with various digital cameras and phones - but he didn’t seem to mind. He was certainly photogenic, had a great smile and my Mum thought he was wonderful!

 

Our deepest condolences to Alf’s family and friends. It is tremendously sad and he will never be forgotten for the great man he was.

Barry Kibble

 

A thought for Mr Hitchcock or "Boss" as I always referred to him. I recall the day he had come to Greyfriar’s to see how things were on the ground within the CID. He asked me how things were and I informed him we had been reduced in numbers for several years and had lost a third of the team. I then showed him to tea fund book and you could see the difference in people paying into the tea funs over the last few years.

 

Mr Hitchcock thought this was brilliant, forget computer systems or HR, if you need to know how many staff there were, get out the tea fund book.

 

On my long service award evening a year or so later, Mr Hitchcock remembered the tea fund book incident and stated it should have been included in my citation.  Mr Hitchcock a leader and a man who could be approached and who was always willing to listen to the views of others.   

 

Boss you will not be forgotten.

 

Lindsey Moss  

 

Alf Hitchcock had fantastic leadership skills, he always had time to listen to people and always tried to do something to help support all members of the police family where he could. He had big shoes to fill and will never be forgotten. He will be a great loss.

 

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

 

Roger Williams

 

It was indeed an honour to have met you and worked with you, RIP, Sir.