There is now a new way of having the boys in blue round the house, as they swap their truncheons for drills to provide a handyman service across Lancashire.
Typically, police officers retire after 30 years’ service and many are still eager to continue playing an active and productive role in their communities.
So they have joined forces to form Trust in Blue.
The organisation has been operating across the UK for more than three years and has recently launched the service in Lancashire, mainly covering Charnock Richard, Chorley, Coppull, Croston, Eccleston, Euxton and Mawdsley.
The handymen can carry out a variety of small jobs, including hanging curtains and blinds, putting up shelves, pictures and mirrors, painting and decorating, flat pack assembly, minor carpentry, fence repair, lawn mowing, hedge trimming and jet washing.
Managing director Nick Orde-Powlett hopes that the company’s unique and rigorous selection process will bring security and peace of mind to people in Lancashire.
He says: “Our vetting process is second to none. All of our handymen are friendly retired police officers with many years’ working in the local community under their belt – they understand people’s concerns and fears better than anyone else and they genuinely care.”
Chris Sims, 58, retired from Merseyside Police after 30 years as a constable in 2013.
Wanting to make the most of his spare time and still serve the community, he joined Trust in Blue and works in the Chorley, Wigan and West Lancashire area.
He says: “As a constable on the street I enjoyed being out on patrol and helping people.
“Once I retired I wanted to get back into the community and help people and when I saw the job on the National Association of Retired Police Officers’ website, I thought this was the best thing.
“I didn’t want to work for a company, I wanted to work for myself, which I can do with Trust in Blue. I work within a 30-mile radius of where I live.
“I am good at all aspects of DIY.
“I do the basics, such as building flat pack furniture, fixing curtain rails, gardening, painting and decorating.
“We don’t do plumbing or major electric work as we are not qualified.
“The bulk of our customers are elderly and vulnerable, so it is nice to see they put their trust in me. I have a nice network of friendly customers and they make me feel welcome.
“I really enjoy that aspect of the job and feeling satisfied that I have helped someone.
“We are a reliable team offering fair prices. It is a great job and it keeps me active and fit. I can work outdoors a lot of the time, similar to my old job.”
Jake Stevenson, another Trust in Blue handyman operating in the area, states: “Having served as a police officer, I am aware there are a small number of trades people who are out to take advantage of clients and I understand it is sometimes daunting for them to allow a stranger into their homes. We understand people’s fears and we will provide a professional and trustworthy service at a fair price that is agreed prior to any work being carried out.
“As a company we will do the smaller jobs that some builders and tradespeople are not prepared to do.
“However, for me it is not all about doing the work and rushing off.
“Sometimes it’s about sitting with the older clients and having a cup of tea and a chat with them.
“We are also able to offer advice on other topics such as crime prevention.”
All of the Trust in Blue handymen are required to prove themselves capable and experienced in home maintenance works before joining the network and all are interviewed and Enhanced DBS (CRB) checked.
More information can be found at www.trustinblue.com.