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Chief Constable Cooke spoke about the importance of his role and his work to make Merseyside a safer place to live and work. He spoke about how young people often get caught up in gangs and before they know it they are drawn into a life of crime and despair. Mr Cooke also made reference to the crime drama “Little Boy Blue” and how this murder had left devastated lives.
Chief Constable Cooke spoke of his job satisfaction and how police officers are able to engage with people and make a real difference to communities. He outlined his career and spoke fondly of his days walking the beat in Kensington.
Mr Cooke was accompanied by former Alsop student DCI Andrew Ryan and spoke about how DCI Ryan had made a significant contribution to community safety here in Liverpool.
Both the Chief Constable and DCI Ryan are Liverpool born and bred. Mr Cooke was keen to stress how proud he was to serve the people of Merseyside. He encouraged young people to consider a career with Merseyside Police. He invited Alsop students to “make their voice heard” and join Merseyside Police Youth Advisory Panel. He said it is important the Merseyside Police listens to the issues and concerns of young people.
Chief Constable Andy Cooke thanked Alsop students for inviting him to speak.
“Thank you to Alsop for the opportunity. An exceptional school with exceptional staff and students.”
Mr Joe Mangan, Headteacher comments:
We were delighted Andy Cooke accepted our invitation to visit Alsop. We are keen to educate students about staying safe and about how criminality can destroy both families and communities. It was also great to welcome former Alsop student DCI Andrew Ryan.
Mr Peter Bull, Co-ordinator of FAITH 2017 writes:
Andy Cooke was able to engage with our students and enable them to consider the tremendous work Merseyside Police undertake to make North Liverpool a safe place to live and work. It was also great to see a former student, DCI Andrew Ryan, return to his old school. We hope that the visit may raise the career aspirations of some students who would like to follow Andrew through service with Merseyside Police
Mr Cooke reflected upon his career and he told students that he joined Merseyside Police in 1985 having obtained a degree in Politics from Nottingham University. He has served as a Detective at every rank.
In 2005 Mr Cooke was promoted to Detective Chief Superintendent and became the first commander of the nationally recognised 'Matrix' team, responsible for tackling gun and gang enabled crime.
During 2006 he devised an approach to tackling serious and organised crime within the security industry in the run-up to Capital of Culture 2008. The initiative was lauded at a national level and it continues to drive criminality out of the industry.
Between 2008 and 2012 Mr Cooke served as Assistant Chief Constable at Lancashire Constabulary where he introduced the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) programme.
In 2012 he returned to Merseyside after being appointed Assistant Chief Constable. In the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2014 he was awarded the Queen's Police Medal. Mr Cooke became Chief Constable in July 2016.