It’s a fair cop as Hawick’s Andrew is honoured as force for good

Andrew Suddon being presented with this lifetime achievement award by Police Scotland deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone.
Andrew Suddon being presented with this lifetime achievement award by Police Scotland deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone.

It was definitely a fair cop when a retired police officer from Hawick was rewarded for a lifetime of service with the force and in the voluntary sector.

Former police chief inspector Andrew Suddon was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Retired Police Officers’ Association Scotland at a dinner last week at the Capitol Hotel at Clermiston Hill in Edinburgh.

Andrew was given that honour by current Police Scotland deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone.

The 77-yearold said he was “very humbled” at the award, adding: “It really came out of the blue. I was not expecting it at all, but I was really chuffed.”

His career saw him rise from being Hawick’s first police cadet to the senior role of chief inspector by the time of his retirement in 1986.

His achievements outside the force are just as impressive, showing unstinting service to the voluntary sector in a series of roles, including as a foster parent, a reader to the blind, a long-time Rotarian and as a counsellor with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

He said: “All I wanted to do was to be useful in whatever way I could with the voluntary work I took up.

“I never did anything I didn’t enjoy.

“I was willing to do anything for anyone who needed something done.

“As a foster parent with my wife Vera, we took children from birth to two years old, most of whom were returned to their parents, although some were adopted.”

His citation for his lifetime award outlined his police career and his voluntary work.

Association chairman Jim McBrierty gave a resume of his police career from when he joined in 1955 as a cadet, before being appointed as a constable serving in Hawick, Coldstream, Kelso and a single-man station at Chirnside.

He later moved to the Scottish crime squad and was involved in investigating serious crimes throughout the country and also in undercover work, earning promotion to detective sergeant.

After that secondment, he served at Gayfield Square police station in Edinburgh, later being promoted to detective inspector and becoming head of the criminal investigation department there.

He went on to be promoted to a post in the senior division of the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan Castle, Clackmannanshire, as a director of studies with the rank of chief inspector.

An accident there resulted in a broken back, however, ending his police career.

After that, he moved from South Queensferry back to Hawick and devoted the extra time afforded to him by retirement to voluntary work.

Among those roles was as secretary of Hawick YM Rugby Club, field officer of Hawick Archaeological Society, a reader of the local paper for the blind and partially sighted with Borders Talking Newspapers and as a Rotarian for 36 years, first at South Queensferry and then at Hawick.

He is a former president of Hawick Rotary Club.

The Suddons have five children of their own, plus grandchildren and a great-grandson.

Due to Vera’s mobility and respiratory problems, they had to give up their hobby of caravan touring and holidays, but a day out of Hawick being a day wasted after all, they remain philosophical.

“If I sit up in bed, I look right onto the Vertish Hill, and many Hawick exiles would give up a lot to be able to do that,” said Andrew.

In his younger days, Andrew played cricket for Coldstream and rugby for Kelso, Duns and Gala Star.