A MUM who has been with North Wales Police for 49 years and was recognised for her "outstanding dedication and lifetime commitment" has retired.

Christine Potts, of Rhyl, worked as a crime recorder. Over the years she has worked as a station typist in Abergele, Rhyl and Prestatyn; in the File Prep Unit in Rhyl before moving to Prestatyn and then Colwyn Bay; In the Integrity Unit in Colwyn Bay; in the Central Ticket Office in Prestatyn and in the Occurrence Management Unit in St Asaph.

Her last role as crime recorder also saw her working from the control room in St Asaph.

Christine, who has partner Duncan Nield-Siddall and children Adam and Tom Potts, was 20 when she joined the force.

In March, Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman presented her with a lifetime achievement award for her dedication, loyalty and hard work. 

Christine said: "I left college at 17 and applied for a number of office jobs including a typist post with the police. As part of the vetting process, the local police officer had to visit me at home in Towyn but my parents told him that I had already accepted a job with Charles F Jones & Son, Surveyors Estate Agents, in Rhyl as a typist. 

Rhyl Journal: Christine's awardChristine's award (Image: Submitted)
"The officer told them that as I was only just 17-years-old it was 'for the best' as typing for the police I would have had to type about  a lot of unpleasant and sad events. He was right." 

Christine eventually applied for a typist job at the Police Headquarters in Colwyn Bay. 

She was informed, during the interview, that the post had been taken but was offered the job of typist at Abergele Police Station instead.

"I started on March 5 1975 and turned 21-years-old a month later," she said.

"My first day was daunting. The other typist was on leave so I was thrown into the deep end. 

"I worked in Abergele for 11 years before being transferred as a typist to Rhyl Police Station.

"Since then I have worked in numerous different departments in Prestatyn, Colwyn Bay and St Asaph."

Rhyl Journal: Christine's Certificate Of ServiceChristine's Certificate Of Service (Image: Submitted)
Talking about some of the biggest changes she has witnessed over the years, Christine said: "The biggest change was when typewriters were exchanged for computers. I had never worked on a computer before so I was afraid of them! 

"Now everything depends on computers. 

"Another big change for me was when the department I was working in was moved to work in the Control Room at St Asaph. For the first time I worked shifts, including through the night, and had to wear a uniform. 

"For me, the highlights have been all the brilliant people I have worked with over the years and all the different places I have worked in with North Wales Police."

Christine was sometimes the only typist working in major incident rooms for murders etc. She had to type all the paperwork up including witness statements, reports and summarised interview tapes.

"This was a very challenging role and had to be a 100% accurate when typing these sad events," Christine said.

Christine felt "honoured" to meet chief constable Blakeman in her office for the informal presentation.


She said: "I was very moved by her kind words and appreciation for my long service to the people of North Wales." 

She added: "With my retirement, I feel excited and sad at the same time.

"Next year would have been 50 years of service but I felt it was the right time to retire now as I will be 70 in April and I am looking forward to enjoying life with my wonderful partner Duncan. We are looking forward to having days out and holidays without having to look at the calendar to see when I am working whilst we are both still young! 

"I will also be able to visit my two sons more often."