Sheriff patrols city streets

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It’s a long time since the Sheriff of Canterbury had the power of arrest and presided over public executions.

Even so the current holder of the office, Cllr Colin Spooner, recently spent a shift on patrol with officers from Kent Police.

And the day was even more special for the former policeman because one of those officers was his daughter PC Gemma Spooner.

Cllr Spooner said: “The day started with a health and safety briefing with Ch Insp Mark Weller before I met Gemma and PC Joe Denovan.

“I then sat in the back of a marked police car – the equipment has changed a lot since I was last in one of those – and jobs are sent to each patrol unit by Kent Police headquarters via a tablet computer which was all very different for an officer who retired some 20 years ago.

“We headed out on patrol and started to respond to the many calls from the public – I visited areas of the city that I have not been to before.”

Towards the end of the shift, Cllr Spooner was treated to a ‘much-needed’ comfort break and a cup of coffee.

He said: “My daughter has been a serving Kent Police officer for more than eight years and I am very proud she chose policing as a career.

“I would like to thank everyone for a great experience.”

Canterbury has had a sheriff since King Edward IV’s charter in 1461 which gave Canterbury the status of a county separate from Kent.

The sheriff collected taxes and undertook some policing functions.

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