WHEN it comes to keeping law and order in Glenrothes, you could say that it’s very much in the blood for the town’s new chief inspector.
Derek McEwan has taken the top job at the local police station in Napier Road after 18 years service with the force.
But he isn’t the first family member to hold the post, as he explains: “My father, Ronnie, was chief inspector here for a period in the late 1980s.”
“I started in 1992 as a cadet in Glenrothes, and although have never been actually stationed here, my previous roles have ensured I have worked regularly in my home town.
“But we have always been a Glenrothes family.
“I attended Pitteuchar West Primary and Auchmuty High - I actually visited the high school recently and it was the first time I had been in it since I left!”
The family connections with the force go deeper, with Derek’s wife, brother, sister-in-law and cousin also serving officers.
Derek was a police constable in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy, before joining the CID as a detective constable at Levenmouth. On being promoted he was stationed at St Andrews before becoming a detective sergeant at Levenmouth, Cupar and the force’s Glenrothes headquarters.
As a detective inspector, he was one of the key individuals responsible for the creation of the force’s public protection unit and led the largest historic child protection investigation in the forces history, Operation Alpha.
Derek was one of the force’s senior investigation officers involved in leading the probe into serious crime, including two murder enquiries.
More recently, he had been working closely with now retired chief constable, Norma Graham, as her staff officer, before being selected to take command at Glenrothes.
He said he is looking forward to building on what has already been achieved by police locally.
“In Glenrothes all classifications of crimes have reduced significantly, in particular violent and sexual crime, whilst detection rates have increased” he explained.
“There has also been a large reduction in anti-social behaviour and crimes of dishonesty, leading to our streets being safer than they have ever been. At the same time as crimes have been reducing so significantly, more and more crimes are being detected.
“Glenrothes is now one of the best performing policing areas in the Kingdom”
A key part of the success is, Derek believes, the community engagement process, which aims to allow local people, through public meetings and other consultations, to influence policing priorities and which has now been ‘enhanced’ to include input from council and other partnership services
“Through this engagement, the local community of Glenrothes will have far greater access to services so, as well as identifying policing priorities they will be able to set priorities for other services in the hope of improving the whole community,” Derek said.”
He also stresses that these community links won’t be affected by the creation of a single Scottish force next year: “Local communities will have the same access to local community police officers, nothing will change for the public come the April 1.” he explains.
“Community policing has been a cornerstone of Fife’s achievements of reducing crime by 49 per cent in the past seven years and something retired chief constable Norma Graham was incredibly passionate about.
“I will be working with everyone in Glenrothes to build on this success.
“We aim to listen to what the public want and deliver upon it. I would urge Glenrothes residents to come along to their local community engagement meetings for the area in which they reside and make us aware of what is important to them.”
Derek concluded: “I care deeply for Glenrothes, being a resident and having been brought up here.
“I have friends and family who live in the town, and have children of my own whom will be attending the schools here, so I am passionate about improving Glenrothes and the surrounding areas for us who live, work or visit the town.”
“It is a privilege and an honour to serve the people in my home town of Glenrothes,” adds the new chief.