Inspector 1328 Brian Kingshott
Brian Frederick Kingshott joined the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary in 1970, after a short career in the Merchant Navy and various other trades. He was posted to Barnstaple, in north Devon, England where he served his probationary period until 1972. It was during this period that he gave evidence in one of the last Assize Court hearings to be heard, as the advent of the current Crown Court system arrived. This is a copy of a witness summons to Bristol Assize Court, served on Brian in 1970. Click on it to open a full size document.
I don't have any photographs of dad as a young police officer, I'm afraid. I'm not sure they had cameras in those days!
Following his probation in 1973, dad applied to become a detective. He had to go to London in those days, to do a Detective Course at the world famous Metropolitan Police Training College in Hendon. These days detective training is all done in force, but those were the days that the Met still sent out detectives to provincial forces to assist with serious crime. So, having qualified as a detective he served for the rest of the 1970's in North Devon.
During this period he studied for, and passed, the examinations for both Constable to Sergeant, and Sergeant to Inspector. You could do that in those days, whereas now, you have to be substantive in the lower rank before you can take the examination to the higher rank.
He was promoted from North Devon to the mid-Devon market town of Okehampton, in early 1979. We moved from 24 Magdala Road, Bickington, just outside Barnstaple, to a police house at 2 North Road, Okehampton. It was right next door to the local fire station. After a short while, dad bought a house at 42 Leaholes Avenue, Okehampton and that is the main house that I grew up in. So, though I was born in Barnstaple, I consider myself to be an "Okey Boy".
After a few months as a response sergeant, the police utilised all of dad's skills as a detective and transferred him to Okehampton Traffic Unit as a Traffic Sergeant! So, off he went to his Advanced Driving Course at the South West Police Regional Driving School at Devizes in Wiltshire.
t was during this period that dad was one of the first six members of the Devon & Cornwall Air Support Unit. I am currently in negotiation to get a copy of a photograph to use here. In the meantime you can view the first helicopter, with (we think), dad as the observer here. If you look closely it appears that Elvis Presley is in the rear seat!
At the beginning on 1986, the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 came into being and created the dedicated post of Custody Officer. This is a position of great responsibility and one that only the best police officers can aspire to. I am one now! Dad was one of the first and had to move to Exeter to work. Whilst at Exeter he also worked as a Detective Sergeant on the Crime Squad, dealing with more serious level crimes.
After a couple of years he moved to Middlemoor, our police HQ, and worked in the control room there. He must have annoyed someone because he was then moved to Launceston in Cornwall as a response sergeant for a year. After having served his penance in the arse end of nowhere, he returned to Exeter and worked back with the Crime Squad, as well as a response sergeant.
Finally, after another couple of years working as a decision-maker in the Administrative Support Unit, he was promoted. It only took 20 years for this to happen, but at least it did happen in the end. The chief constable liked to exert his influence and, accordingly, dad was promoted down to the far end of Cornwall, ending up moving down there.
Inspector Brian Kingshott - posing with his son's (mine!) Traffic Car!
Dad had a busy time of it as an Inspector, moving all over the force area and performing a number of roles in the last eight years of his retirement. He worked as a Patrol Inspector in both Penzance and Camborne before working as an Operations Inspector there. He then went back up to Barnstaple as a Traffic Inspector becoming, for about a year in 1998, my own inspector! He also spent a long period as Acting Chief Inspector during this time. He then moved back to the Control Room at HQ to become the Force Duty Officer before going back down to Camborne to what was known as Task Force West, where his responsibility included Force Police Dogs. Finally, he became a Partnership Inspector at St Austell and retired from there in 2001.
There is another page on dad here .