Farewell to Hertfordshire Police’s “Inspector Ayrton Senna”

Inspector George Holland
Inspector George Holland

A policeman who paved the way for other officers is retiring after 33 years with Herts Police.

Inspector George Holland completed his last working day on Friday (July 14).

Yet his whole career was a testament to his dedication, after he was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of nine.

“I always wanted to join the police,” said the 53-year-old. “I don’t know why, I just did.

“I kept getting rejected so I went to the Home Office to plead my case. They told me not to give up and, eventually, after several interviews and medicals, I was given a chance to prove myself as a Special Constable.

“But my goal was always to join the regulars, so I worked hard, taking annual leave from my job to cover night shifts to show I could cope.”

On September 6, 1987, Mr Holland achieved his dream and became a regular officer, the first person in the UK with type one diabetes to be accepted into the service.

Mr Holland’s recruitment came before the Disability and Equality Act, so police chiefs could have legally and summarily turned him away.

But instead he filled a variety of roles, not least as an an area car driver where he gained the nickname ‘Ayrton Senna’.

He also achieved one of the highest arrest rates in the county, sometimes detaining seven or eight people in one night. He started his last role as safer neighbourhood inspector for Dacorum in 2012.

And, throughout his career, his earned numerous commendations, most notably for his work around the Queen’s visit to Berkhamsted in May 2016 and for his support as silver commander following the explosion at Buncefield in 2005.