Final beat for a cop at heart of Glenrothes

Chief Inspector Stevie Hamilton & Inspector Derek Paxton
Chief Inspector Stevie Hamilton & Inspector Derek Paxton

He’s walked his last beat and felt his last collar after 30 years of policing across the region.

For Inspector Derek Paxton has called time on a dedicated career as one of the force’s most “well-kent faces” – especially in Glenrothes.

Family members joined colleagues past and present to bid farewell to one of Fife’s most trusted and dependable coppers.

Chief Inspector Steve Hamilton described Inspector Paxton, know affectionally by his colleagues as ‘Paco’, as a “safe and dependable pair of hands” and an officer “you would want by your side” as he presented him with a number of gifts, including a hand-drawn caricature of the inspector.

Originally from Lochgelly, Derek had a brief stint at Rosyth dockyard before joining the force in January 1986.

A decade later, he was promoted to Sergeant in Glenrothes in May 1997, a role within the heart of the community that many think was made for him.

Temporary postings in St Andrews, Cupar, Cowdenbeath and across in the west of Scotland followed before he returned to his own patch as Glenrothes Community Inspector in April 2010, where he remained.

“He’s been around for what seems like forever.

“He was in Glenrothes when I joined as a cadet and, even back then, he was always thought of a ‘steady hand’, reliable and totally committed,” Superintendent Derek McEwan told the Gazette.

“As a local, if there was an incident or a problem within the town, he’d feel it and want to put it right because this was his patch,” he added.

With his handcuffs and uniform now handed back, Derek plans to spend his retirement travelling, including to Berlin, where he and wife Diane are heading first.

“They’ve had one over me here today as I didn’t expect a send-off like this,” Derek laughed after the presentation.

“Hopefully, I’ve done my bit for the town.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, even those long hard nights and the inevitable bad things that come with a job like this,” he said afterwards.

“But that has been made all the more enjoyable because of the great many good colleagues I’ve served with in my time.

“I will still be in the town and I’ll still be keeping my eye on them.”