You shouldn't always believe what you read in the papers?

Or, at least, the real story is not necessarily how it is presented by the press.


The following is coverage from this week's Matlock Mercury "A retired police chief has written an 'open and honest' book about his time with Derbyshire Constabulary. Roger Flint published From Cop to Commander this month. The book also discusses corruption and organisational failings in the police service and freemasonry within the ranks."

Dad had been the rock of our family, he was loyal to Mum but they had distinct lines of demarcation in terms of roles and responsibilities. She did all the housework, cooking, shopping and child care – he went to work. It was as simple as that. He had suffered poor health not just physically in his later years but also mentally when I was a baby. He was a patient in the Pastures Mental Home in Derby when I was born. This was something I never told anyone about particularly in the Police, how times and understanding has now moved on thankfully. Another thing about him that I never told anyone in the Police about was that he was a proud Freemason and an active member of the High Peak Lodge (1952). He was Worshipful Master of this Lodge in 1966 which was celebrated by a lady’s night dinner at the Palace Hotel in Buxton much to my mother’s delight

Mum & Dad at the Palace Hotel when he was Worshipful Master of the High Peak Lodge

There were always rumours that being in the Freemasons helped you get on in several organisations including the Police. I have to say that I never saw any evidence of this at all but I was worried that if it became common knowledge that my father was a Freemason then people would naturally associate this with any advancement I might make in my career. I kept it quiet throughout my service and only since I retired have I discussed it with anyone. What I did see from Freemasonry was tremendous charity work and a real brotherly bond which ensures that support is given to those who need it. Never was this more evident than the way they paid respect to their colleagues and supported widows. At my father’s funeral they laid on a discreet guard of honour. After his death my mother was supported by the lodge and the Worshipful Master delivered a personal gift to her every Christmas. After my father died in 1989 I took possession of his Freemason regalia including the Province of Derbyshire Year Book which gives full details of the names of all the Freemasons in Derbyshire and the lodges in which they are members. From this information I have been able to covertly identify who the Freemasons are in the Derbyshire Constabulary and link it to their workplace status and friendships. I can categorically say that, in almost three decades of detailed analysis, I have not been able to make any links of anyone’s progress or otherwise which may have been linked to Freemasonry favours. I have never disclosed any information contained within these records to anyone else.

The little blue book that contains the names of all the Freemasons in Derbyshire

Personally I have been approached several times to join the Freemasons but have always politely declined not because I thought that there was anything incompatible with also being a Police Officer of the highest integrity in fact quite the contrary, but because of how it could be mistakenly perceived by others particularly members of the public.

 

Flint, Roger. From Cop to Commander . Kindle Edition

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