‘Women were given half-size truncheons’

Photo Neil Cross
Morecambe PC Janet Ratcliffe is retiring after 30 years
Photo Neil Cross Morecambe PC Janet Ratcliffe is retiring after 30 years

A police officer with 30 years service under her belt has hung up her handcuffs for good

Janet Ratcliffe joined the police force in 1986 and during that time has been a police officer in Morecambe and Lancaster, worked on response, has served on CID and has been an exhibitions officer and a murder enquiry officer.Janet said: “The most demanding role was a family liaison officer on murders By the very nature of what has happened it is extremely emotional and highly demanding. It really was a difficult role.”

During her time in the police, Janet, a mum of two boys, has seen many changes.

She said: “When I first joined we had to wear a white shirt and a skirt and some women officers took their handbag with them on a job, I never took my handbag.

“Women were given a truncheonhalf the size of the men’s , but I never took mine out.It was that era where we had to prove ourselves more to be accepted. I went into it quite naively wanting to help people and it was a completely different job than I had anticipated.

“In 2008 I went back to being a response officer and I found it had changed - demand was far higher and there are fewer of us. It is the thin blue line. I will miss it because it has defined me but it’s time for a change.”