A police beat from Palestine to The Open

Inspector Steven Mackay is driving solo across mainland Europe to raise money for charity before he retires from the police force in September. Pic: FPA
Inspector Steven Mackay is driving solo across mainland Europe to raise money for charity before he retires from the police force in September. Pic: FPA

From pounding the streets of Pitteuchar and Cadham as a community copper to bomb disposal in Palestine, Inspector Steven Mackay has amassed a wealth of experience during his 30 year career with the Police in Fife.

And, when he hangs up his ‘cuffs at the end of September after a round-Europe marathon fundraising venture, he can definitely say he has left his mark on the force.

Inspector Steven Mackay with the Glenrothes Community policing team

Inspector Steven Mackay with the Glenrothes Community policing team

Mr Mackay (53) got the police bug after taking on a role as a Special Constable while working with a national housebuilder in 1980.

His first role after completing his probationary period was as a community constable working in Tanshall, Caskieberran and Macedonia - even today he still describes community policing as “the most rewarding experience because you get to see the difference you can make.”

He joined the training department before moving on to the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan where he helped train junior officers, designing a realistic training suite – a legacy which survives to this day.

There then followed spells as team sergeant in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, before becoming community sergeant for the Glenrothes area and, in 2000, a new role as force drugs co-ordinator which included setting up of the new Fife Youth Drug Team, aimed at youngsters under 16. That earned him an invite to Downing Street to meet then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Inspector Steven Mackay and other guests invited to  Downing Street

Inspector Steven Mackay and other guests invited to Downing Street

In 2003 he became team inspector at Kirkcaldy, then community inspector at Levenmouth, and two years later he was again called to lead a new team as the force anti-social behaviour co-ordinator, taking forward the Government’s flagship legislation.

“It was an interesting role and we carried out the first house closures and vehicle seizures using the legislation effectively and practically,” he said.

“We led the way - a lot of what we did here in Fife was rolled out to other forces around Scotland.”

Roles as partnership inspector, community safety inspector and force planning and equalities co-ordinator saw him working with many different sections of the community.

With a colleague in Palestine where they helped train the Palestinian police

With a colleague in Palestine where they helped train the Palestinian police

As force custody manager he and his team overhauled and improved procedures to ensure they complied with the latest legislation. He was also central to designing plans for a central custody suite for Fife, something shelved when Police Scotland was set up, but which is again being looked at.

From there he became deputy inspector for North East Fife, working in a completely different environment from Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth and facing different types of challenges.

Then it was back to HQ as inspector in the divisional co-ordination unit, tasked with drawing up Fife’s policing plan with input from the public.

The last of his many roles in Police Scotland in Fife saw him in charge of co-ordinating the policing team for The Open.

“I have had a wonderful time with the police in Fife in my many and varied roles and I have been privileged to work with on many groundbreaking new projects.”

Around Europe in 28 days

To mark the start of his retiral, on September 1, Steven is embarking on a month-long charity motorbike trip around a large chunk of Europe.

Raising money for Age Concern in Glenrothes and Ben and Finlay Stevens, the seven-year-old twin sons of a colleague, who suffer from severe autism, he will travel around 13 countries in 28 days by motorbike, taking in Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Italy.

To raise funds he is inviting people to guess the number of miles he will cover, with the chance to win prizes donated by businesses throughout Scotland.

He is being supported by Millennium Gym in Glenrothes, where members will be trying to match him mile for mile on fitness machines.

He explained: “This started off as a holiday to mark the start of my retirement, although I don’t officially retire until I come back as I was due leave.

“My wife Fiona suggested it would be good to do it for charity, so it turned into a fundraiser. The response so far has been brilliant.”

You can keep up with Steven’s adventures through the Millennium Facebook page, Age Concern’s website and Ben and Finlay’s blog spot Ben and Finlay