He has worked the diplomatic and royal protection beats, and was part of the first firearms squads in the Met.

But now Inspector Ron Rogers, who has worked in Kingston since 2012, is hanging up his cuffs after 26 years to spend more time with his family in his home town of Portsmouth.

Insp Rogers, 54, first joined the force in 1988 in Twickenham before moving to the firearms unit, then called PT17.

His most recent posting in Kingston saw his first foray into neighbourhood policing, before he moved to the emergency response team.

He said: “All my years in the job, until I got to Kingston, I had never actually performed in a neighbourhood policing role.

“It was a totally new thing for me. I obviously got stuck into it and very much enjoyed it. You have ongoing problems that you need to resolve [and] you retain ownership of those.”

He added the team at Kingston is “probably the best” he has worked with.

This month Insp Rogers was commended for his leadership since joining the borough.

Firearms officers used to drive around in the same 827 Rovers as regular officers, Insp Rogers said, but times were “somewhat different” then. He said: “I don’t think we gave out a lot of tickets, really.”

Not everything has changed for the better, however. He added: “I still think that the old uniforms looked smarter.”

Having squeezed what feels like 30 years’ service into 26, Insp Rogers, of Worcester Park, plans to move back to the seaside and spend as much time as possible with family, including his grandchildren.

He said: “I’ve got no doubt that any free time I have will be utilised by my children to great effect.”

He added: “I’ve manage to get lots of bits and pieces done – I’ve more or less done everything I wanted to do. As far as I’m concerned, for me personally it’s been an absolute pleasure to do.”