The senior police officer who spearheaded the investigation into Bradford ‘Crossbow Cannibal’ Stephen Griffiths retires tomorrow.
West Yorkshire Deputy Chief Constable Jawaid Akhtar also spent time as a divisional commander in Bradford during a 30-year career in the police.
He officially bows out of the West Yorkshire force at midnight tomorrow.
But his final shifts were very much a family affair as he yesterday patrolled the Huddersfield beat, where his career began, alongside his son and fellow officer Mohsin.
“I am extremely proud to have served West Yorkshire’s communities for almost 32 years,” said DCC Akhtar. “The challenges and the way we police have changed vastly in that period, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.”
DCC Akhtar also led the force’s investigation around retention of human tissue samples.
West Yorkshire Chief Constable Mark Gilmore paid a glowing tribute to his deputy.
He said: “Jawaid Akhtar has made a significant and selfless contribution to West Yorkshire Police, to our communities and to British policing for almost 32 years. He has been a cornerstone of this organisation and gave me invaluable support after I took up my post in 2013.
“Jawaid has devoted his career to serving the communities of West Yorkshire and I am proud and privileged to have worked alongside him.
“His depth of knowledge, integrity, sound advice and ability to challenge issues in a positive and robust way have been a real asset to this force and indeed the British police service.
“I join all colleagues in wishing Jawaid every success for his retirement. I know he will be greatly missed.”
Born in Pakistan, DCC Akhtar arrived in the UK in 1967 at the age of ten. He settled in Huddersfield and completed a BSc (Hons) degree in aeronautical engineering.
DCC Akhtar joined West Yorkshire Police in 1982 and his first posting was his home town of Huddersfield. He rose through the ranks and in 1998 took his first divisional command at Halifax.
Various postings followed, including two stints in Bradford. He was a detective sergeant at Toller Lane from 1988 to 89, returning 15 years later as chief superintendent for Bradford South. He became assistant chief constable in 2004, has held several major portfolios and is North East regional lead on counter-terrorism for the Association of Chief Police Officers.
In 2010, DCC Akhtar graduated from the FBI law enforcement executive development programme in America and in 2012 completed the international leadership in counter terrorism (LinCT) programme.
In December 2011 he received the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished police service and in November 2012 took up his current role as temporary deputy chief constable.
DCC Akhtar is married with two children and still lives in Huddersfield. He speaks fluent Punjabi and Urdu. His main hobby is flying and he holds a private pilots’ licence.
West Yorkshire Police’s new deputy chief constable, Dee Collins, takes up post on Monday.