‘County man’ returns to Wilton Hill after six years on the local beat

PC Brian Murray will no longer run the ‘beat’ around Hawick and Newcastleton after returning to Wilton Hill as a response officer.

His role as Community Beat Officer, which also took in Bonchester Bridge, Denholm, Minto, and Roberton, began in 2006 after he emerged as the only applicant for the job.

A well-known figure during 20 years on the force, PC Murray has spent the majority of his police career on the front line, but he admits he satisfied a long-held ambition by filling his most recent role.

“I was always interested in being the Newcastleton and Hawick County CBO,” he explained. “It involves a lot of travelling between incidents and you usually work alone unless corroboration is required. Working on my own isn’t a problem, I seem to get on quite well with myself!”

One incident, which occurred soon into his tenure as CBO, is implanted firmly in his mind as one of the funniest. Having had cause to issue a number of fixed penalty tickets for vehicle excise licenses in Newcastleton shortly after arriving in post, PC Murray found himself being tailed by a certain protestor.

“This resulted in one male cycling down the road after me shouting that he wasn’t paying it!” he recalls. “Other than that incident, over the last six years I have dealt with some cracking cross-border criminal investigations, with some of the more memorable ones involving targeting travelling criminals who were hitting Newcastleton stealing fuel. The shock on their faces when they realised they were surrounded by police in the middle of nowhere was brilliant.”

With his replacement as CBO yet to be appointed, PC Murray is a fine promoter of the post, saying he “thoroughly enjoyed” his role as the ‘county man’. “I have made many friends and no doubt the odd enemy, which goes with the territory,” he added.