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Harrow’s longest-serving police officer retires after 57 years of service

The Metropolitan Police bid farewell to one of their longest-serving colleagues, Officer Rob Harrild MBE, who dedicated his entire career to serving in Harrow. Sergeant Harrild worked tirelessly in Harrow for five decades.

The Commissioner honoured Sergeant Rob Harrild MBE in February recognising his remarkable service to the Met. After 57 years as an MSC officer in the NW area, Sergeant Harrild retired on February 29..

Rob began his training in 1966 and officially became a Special Constable on January 27, 1967, at Old Scotland Yard. He was stationed in Harrow, where he remained throughout his entire policing career.

Rob’s journey began as a Special Constable during a time when police boxes were prevalent in London. He served through significant events like the Grosvenor Square anti-Vietnam war demonstrations, Margaret Thatcher’s tenure, and the reign of the notorious Cray twins. Throughout his years served in the force, he witnessed the leadership of 13 commissioners.

Rob’s contributions were recognised with awards from the Harrow Borough in 2001, 2002, and 2010. He received a Commissioner’s Commendation in 2016 and holds a Long Service Medal with four bars. Rob’s dedication was highlighted on Crimewatch, and he was honoured with an MBE in 2017 for his policing services.

Throughout his career, Rob also offered mentorship and guidance to new recruits, sharing his wealth of experience with new officers.

Harrow's longest-serving police officer retires after 57 years of service Harrow Online

When asked why he decided to join the service and become a special constable at the age of 18, Rob said: “At senior school I was threatened by a gang in the street and I remember thinking ‘I wish a policeman would walk around the corner’. I joined the MSC so I could be that policeman.

“One day I was walking down the street and saw a sign outside the newly built South Harrow police station advertising for special constables – the rest is 57 years of history.

“Policing shows you a much wider spectrum of the public, and expands your experience overall. My time in the Met has been fun and interesting, but it was easier to police in the early days, as I didn’t have the difficulties modern police have to deal with – paperwork was a lot easier!”

Rob has stated that he will continue his commitment to volunteering into his retirement, volunteering at Wendover Canal Trust, the British Legion in Harrow and as treasurer for a residents’ association in Chislehurst. He also has plans to help his children renovate a bungalow, as well as now having the time to work on his own house.

Special Chief Officer James Deller says, “Robert epitomised the qualities of an excellent police officer. His deportment, poise and presence was always very smart and he always represented the Met to the highest standards. Volunteering runs in Robert’s veins, as he also spent many years delivering blood supplies on his motorbike to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“He was a role model to literally generations of officers and he will be much missed.”