I was saddened to learn of the death of John Alderson. I had many dealing with him across the years going back long before we published his classic text, 'Principled Policing' in 1998.
Together with Andrew Rutherford, John and I went on tour delivering a series of conferences, naturally trying to encourage alternative points of view to many of the mainstream imperatives of the 1980s. John, as ever, was vehement in his views on community policing and the need to truly police by consent rather than just pay lip service to this age old principle.
It was a pleasure to work with one of the greats of British policing who, in everything he did was someone of the highest integrity. Indeed, the subtitle of his book 'Policing the Public with Integrity' says it all and is perhaps a fitting epitaph.
He was like me a Barnsley lad although he was already working his way up the old West Riding Constabulary whilst I was still at school. But it did allow me understand where his seemingly inbred down-to-earth approach, friendliness, sense of fairness and justice and determination stemmed from. Neither am I surprised that he was prepared to stick to his views in the face of sometimes considerable professional and political opposition, which brought him enormous respect. On a lighter note, I last met him to discuss his writing by arrangement in a deserted park in Devon where in the stillness he emerged from the shadows to greet me, much in the manner of George Smiley!