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'Always firm but fair'



Guess whose motorbike has covered 55,000km without ever crossing the frontier?


Guess who served under Commissioner Joe Ullger as well as under Commissioner Richard Ullger?


Guess who is a target of abusive language almost every working day?


The answer to all three questions is PC Stuart Anson of the RGP’s Roads Policing Unit.


Stuart is a well-known figure around the town. When he’s not attending a collision, he is helping to manage the traffic around broken down vehicles, or when there has been an oil spill or a rock fall. Sometimes he acts as an escort for an oversized load or for VIPs attending major events.


Less obviously, he is qualified as a Basic Collision Investigator and as a Firearms Officer.


Unfortunately, he is also widely-known for conducting Operation DriveSafe and, at this time of year, for inviting certain motorists to take a breath test - and this is where he is often at the receiving end of some very unpleasant comments.


 ‘I’m pretty thick-skinned and it doesn’t affect me,’ says Stuart. ‘I’ve heard it all before – many, many times! I treat everyone the same – no matter who they are or where they are from. Most people who know me and know that I am always firm but fair.’


Perhaps oddly, the most rewarding moment of Stuart’s career came not on the roads but on a beach.


‘A few years ago, while I was conducting a beach patrol on foot, I rushed over to a family whose baby was having severe breathing difficulties. I grabbed the child, turned it over so that I could massage its back and cleared its airways. It was a wonderful feeling when the child started to breathe again. I had a little boy of about the same age so it was a really emotional feeling when I could see that the baby was recovering.’

Sadly, there have also been some unpleasant moments.


‘On two occasions, I have had to break the news to families that a loved one has died and one of those occasions was just a few months ago.’


Originally from the Wolverhampton area, Stuart came to work on the Rock after a very enjoyable holiday here. He worked first as a mechanical and electrical engineer and then as a supermarket manager but he has since been a police officer for over 20 years.


‘I still love this job. In fact, I shall soon be asking for another extension beyond the normal retirement age,’ he says.


It sounds like we’ll be seeing that familiar face on our roads for a little while longer yet.