Graham retiring after 30 years of service to Sunderland, Houghton and South Tyneside

Insp. Graham Finlay of Houghton Police station who is retiring.
Insp. Graham Finlay of Houghton Police station who is retiring.
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A NEIGHBOURHOOD beat inspector is retiring from his role after three decades of service.

Inspector Graham Finlay has hung up his hat as head of Houghton Neighbourhood Policing Team after spending 30 years working for Northumbria Police.

His crime-fighting career started when he joined the force as a Pc at Sunderland’s Gill Bridge Avenue Police Station on October 5, 1981.

He quickly moved on to cover the Pennywell area of the city as the neighbourhood beat manager before being promoted to a post in South Tyneside in 1990.

While there, he covered Jarrow, South Shields and Hebburn, and the southern communications centre.

In 1995, he made a return to Sunderland when he worked as a custody sergeant at Gill Bridge.

He went on to be promoted to inspector before working as a 24/7 response inspector covering the north of Sunderland, Washington and Houghton.

In the final move of his career, Inspector Finlay took up his current role as Neighbourhood Inspector for Houghton Neighbourhood Policing Team three years ago – a career highlight.

He said during his time in the role, he has seen crime fall dramatically and enjoyed working closely with the community.

“The past three years have been a real highlight for me,” he said.

“Working with the community in Houghton and partner agencies, such as Gentoo and local councillors, to find longer-term solutions has been very rewarding.

“Crime and disorder in the area has reduced dramatically and in the past five months alone we’ve seen antisocial behaviour fall by 26.7 per cent.

“That’s a huge achievement and I’m proud of the team for making it happen.

“It’s been great to be part of a team of like-minded people.

“Everyone wants to do some good in the community and I’ll miss that.”

Insp Finlay plans on spending his retirement from policing enjoying his many hobbies.

He is a keen skier and travels to the Alps every year.

He also enjoys playing the guitar.

As well as celebrating 30 years of police service, earlier this year Graham and his wife Julie marked their pearl wedding anniversary after spending 30 years together.

He said: “I’ve got plenty of hobbies and am looking forward to being able to spend more time enjoying them.

“I might even have a change of career and get a part-time job to keep me busy.”