Local police officer Adrian Secker, affectionately known by colleagues and the community as ‘Adge’, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours.
In his citation, Adge was described as “inspirational, committed, dedicated and passionate” in the way he has contributed to policing in the City of Bath and its communities over the past 25 years.
Born in High Wycombe, he fulfilled his childhood dream, signing up to become a police officer in 1989, initially stationed in Bishopsworth and Broadbury Road, transferring to Bath as beat manager for Snow Hill and then the city centre team.
He spent time as a response officer, the rural action team at Keynsham, and in plain clothes on drugs operations.
In 2008 he became beat manager for the Twerton area of Bath, where he has remained in the role since, becoming a familiar face on BBC’s “Neighbourhood Blues,” which highlighted policing in the B&NES, North Somerset and West Somerset areas.
In 2013, he was awarded the Avon and Somerset Beat Manager of the Year for his community policing work and was “highly commended” in the Pride of Bath Awards in the “Going the Extra Mile” category.
He has also been an inspirational role model for the youth of Bath and it is his work – in his own time – leading Bath Police Cadets that leaves a further lasting legacy.
He has been instrumental in reaching out to diverse groups to get recruits into the cadets, exposing them to police work and the value of community service, in particular involving them in supporting the homeless community in the city.
His desire and compassion to help others was exemplified in November last year when he arranged for five-year-old Jayden-Lee Tomlinson-Parsons, a boy with a life limiting heart condition, to be a police officer for the day.
Adge, together with colleagues Kevin Pope and Baz Johnson, made the boy’s wish come true as he spent a day with the force, being picked up by Adge in a police vehicle with blue lights flashing.
He visited the Wilfred Fuller VC Centre in Clevedon, home of the force’s dog and mounted unit, and was treated to a training display and then helped to arrest a criminal.
Adge said: “The climax of his day was a visit to the police headquarters at Portishead, where he shared a piece of a specially made birthday cake (made in the shape of a police officer) with the Chief (Constable) Andy Marsh, before taking his “hot-seat” and donning the Chief’s hat as he took charge of the force!
“Jayden was given a specially made set of epaulettes containing his name and date of birth, together with other gifts. So many people helped make a little boy so happy.”
Adge has also in his career acted as a Police Federation representative, specialising in misconduct.
In his free time he has found time to volunteer as a Mayor’s Guide for tourists visiting the city of Bath, something he plans to continue when he hangs up his police helmet and tunic on 12th February 2019.
He also hopes to find time pursuing his other interests including cricket, travel, walking and gardening.
He married Tara Bourne in 2017, who is an events planning officer with Avon and Somerset, working at police headquarters.
Adge said: “I feel incredibly humbled and proud to receive the British Empire Medal – it is a fantastic way to end my 30-year career in the police. The award means so much to me as it recognises my contribution to British policing and to the community of Bath.
“I will miss policing but it is time to move on but I will always remain fiercely loyal to Avon and Somerset Constabulary. I was born in High Wycombe but made in the police …” he said.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “When Adge took over as the community beat officer for the Twerton area of Bath, confidence in the police was low and community relations poor.
“He has transformed those relations over the years and has become one of the community, through his work.
“Within six months he had transformed Twerton, changing it from being the area with the highest anti-social behaviour in the city to being the area with the least recorded incidents.
“He became a local school governor in 1993, raising £1500 for Children in Need by running between every school on his beat, with pupils.
“But it is work with the deaf community that leaves a lasting legacy in support of others. Twerton has a large deaf community. In order to reach out to this group he became a ‘signer’ for the deaf.
“In 2015 he raised £4000 for ‘Action on hearing loss’ which enabled the purchase of a sensory meeting room for the deaf community. He was also a founder member of Avon and Somerset’s PLOD (Police Liaison Officers’ for the Deaf).”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, said: “I was delighted to see that Adge Secker has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List.
“It’s an incredible achievement and rightly recognises his devotion to his career over so many years, my congratulations to him and his family.”