A CHIEF Inspector has announced his retirement from West Mercia Police after 30 years to concentrate on his role as a policing advisor in Palestine.

Andrew Udall retired on Wednesday in order to pursue new challenges.

Mr Udall, aged 48, was promoted to the rank of inspector in 2000 and spent much of his time at force headquarters in Hindlip leading a small team that reshaped the call management, public service desks and operations rooms functions within the force.

Speaking about his decision to retire, Mr Udall said: “I suppose you reach a stage where you want something fresh and different.

“As much as I have enjoyed the job, there’s a big world outside the police force and lots of other things to do. Also with some of the changes that are occurring or that I could see coming up in the next two or three years, I thought everything is geared now to do more with less. The pressure is enormous.”

In March 2011, Mr Udall became the first serving British police officer to be seconded to the EU as a policing adviser for the EU Co-ordination Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL) working to develop, train and equip the Palestinian Police in preparation for an independent Palestine.

“It’s very rewarding. That’s why I would like to now carry on my work.

“International work is very interesting. I love travelling and experiencing new cultures and beliefs which is what I have been able to do.”

Prior to being promoted to chief inspector, Mr Udall served as force duty inspector and was a firearms incident commander for many years.

Mr Udall, who was born and bred in Worcester but now lives in Telford, joined the police cadets in 1980, training in Droitwich and Worcester.

In November 1982, at the age of 18, he was appointed constable and in 1988 was promoted to sergeant in Telford, making him the youngest sergeant in the force at the time.

He received a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Commendation for bravery in disarming a drunk person armed with a firearm and Divisional Commander’s Commendation for his prompt actions and decision-making while in command of a firearms incident.

Mr Udall said: “I have enjoyed my time as a police officer and dealing with a huge variety of incidents and events.

“Even more, I have immensely valued the camaraderie and huge support I always received from my friends and colleagues during some very difficult and demanding policing situations, without whom, the success of many operations would not have been possible.”