WITH just days in the job to go, county police chief Ivan Powell turned out for Transformers futsal team – which sees ex-offenders line up alongside the cops that caught them.

Transformers is the public face of Herefordshire division’s Integrated Offender Management (IOM) programme, working to turn the most active criminals away from crime.

Turning out for Transformers made Ivan think on how far policing in the county had come.

Nearly 30 years earlier, Ivan headed up a drugs squad here that made a record 200 arrests in only nine months.

Today, says Ivan, policing balances both arrests and prevention and is at its most effective when that balance is struck.

Ivan retires having seen significant falls in offending across the division, despite a year of high profile crimes – all of which were resolved within hours of being committed.

A recent audit of the division found officers taking “pride and inspiration” in their work.

Ivan says he’s seen similar qualities in the partner organisations and communities his officers – of all ranks – work with on issues relating to police work, much of which goes largely unheralded.

His welcome into the Transformers fold and thanks for efforts after the game told him a great deal about the job he was leaving behind, a job he joined at just 18 in 1982.

Six years later he swapped street work in Kidderminster for the city he’s always called home, having grown up in Whitecross and attended St Francis Xavier and St Mary’s schools.

Moves up through the ranks brought him back to Hereford as a senior detective before a third return for a final stint as Superintendent in charge in 2012.

Ivan will take up a post retirement role with the Local Resilience Forum, an emergency planning forum for the county.