From bobby on the beat to assistant chief constable

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A GRANTHAM man has been promoted to one of the top spots within Lincolnshire Police.

The force has announced Roger Bannister as assistant chief constable, a temporary role in which he will oversee two major projects in the coming months.

He said: “The force is already going through quite a significant change programme in relation to the Government funding cuts and I’m leading two significant projects within the force to change how we operate. Instead of the force having three separate divisions, it’s now going to have a whole force approach to how we deal with policing.”

Another role will be overseeing the amalgamation of specialist departments with the remaining four forces in the East Midlands, to further save cash.

He said: “It will be, personally, quite a challenge but something I look forward to and something I’m really excited about.”

Although the father-of-two has moved up through the ranks to the highly respectable position within the force, his career has not been without its setbacks.

In February 2002, he was one of three officers investigated by the Police Complaints Authority after police bugging forced the acquittal of five suspects accused of murdering Grantham man Mark Corley.

The men walked free from court after the judge in the case heard how they had been recorded by police as they talked with their solicitors. The Police Complaints Authority’s investigation found the three officers were incompetent but not corrupt.

Talking about the incident, Asst Ch Cons Bannister said: “There were short-comings and I accepted them at the time and it’s an experience I’ve learned from.

“I’ve seen first-hand the great improvements in training that’s now provided nationally to avoid similar situations.”

A “Lincolnshire lad”, Asst Ch Cons Bannister, 42, was born and bred near Gainsborough. Although his foray into the world of work began in retail management in London, he knew policing was where his passion lay.

He said: “I went to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Gainsborough, which was directly opposite the police station. I got to know our local community policeman really well and ever since then wanted to join the force.”

In 1988, he joined Lincolnshire Police, having graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a Bachelor of Science degree in policing studies.

He progressed through the ranks both in uniform operations and criminal investigation roles and took command of the crime support department in June 2009.

Asst Ch Cons Bannister’s area of expertise is serious and organised crime, after spending the majority of his service in CID.

He moved to Grantham in 1991 when he was stationed in the town, and has lived in the area ever since. He is married with three-year-old twin boys.