‘Accidental’ 30 year career has been a ‘blast’

Community inspector Donald Jenks
Community inspector Donald Jenks

Levenmouth’s Community Inspector Donald Jenks leaves the force today after a 30 year career.

But it may not have been, had he followed his initial job choice after training as a technical teacher.

“I just couldn’t get a job as a teacher, so I decided to join the police instead. It was a happy accident really and I’ve had a blast.”

Donald joined Fife Constabulary at the height of the miners strike in 1984, and spent his first few months as an officer on the front line of the pickets in Cowdenbeath.

“I always remember my first shift, because I was day shift, but because it was during the strike, it started at 4.00 a.m. So it was a bit of a culture shock.”

Following his time there, he was appointed as ‘village bobby’ in Auchtermuchty, where he spent six years.

“My inspector asked me ‘Do you know where Auchtermuchty is?’ and I had no idea, I was a Kirkcaldy lad.

“It helped introduce me to a whole load of aspects of policing, because you did everything. I really learned my trade.”

Over the next 18 years, Donald worked as part of two Open Golf planning teams, had a stint in Glenrothes and and at headquarters and Dunfermline, travelled to Holland as part of the Lockerbie trial, and trained as a counter-terrorist search advisor.

He was initally based in Levenmouth in 2000 as a beat sergeant, and returned in 2008, when he had been made inspector.

“In 2000, it was a different place. There was far more crime, and much more disadvantaged than it is now.

“But the change in those years was phenomenal. You could see that there had been a huge amount of investment in the area, which has continued.”

In his role as community inspector, Donald has worked closely with a number of partner agencies in the local area and said his last years at Levenmouth have been the most rewarding.

“Graeme Kinmond and I formed an unholy alliance to try to improve performance and reduce crime, and we have an absolutely fantastic community partnership here.

“We said to the gaffers, ‘Leave us alone, don’t move us again, let us finish our last years here and we will do a job on Methil’ and I would like to think we’ve made quite a difference here. Crime has probably halved and detection rates are up from 40 per cent to 60 per cent.”

Taking on the role of community inspector now will be Inspector Tom Brown, who has just recently been promoted.

“Tom is quite a livewire with lots of experience and a background in CID. I think he will fit in well here”

Although he had intended to take some time out following retirement, in just four weeks time Donald will start a new position with Fife Council as Licensing Enforcement Officer.

“It’s a brand new position, but it will allow me to keep working with the public and keep them safe. I wasn’t ready to put my feet up yet!”