In the Media

Dedicated police constable to commute from Germany

PUBLISHED April 30, 2012

Pc Sean Hannigan moved to the German city last month when his wife's employer asked her to transfer there from the UK.

But determined not to let down the people on his beat in the Market Bosworth area of Leicestershire, he decided flying the 450 miles from his new home was the only answer.

Now, reporting for duty involves a couple of 90-minute flights to and from the UK each week.

The dedicated 45-year-old said: "If you are doing a job which you love and which gives you so much fulfillment, then travelling a few hundred miles to get there and home again isn't a problem.

"It came about a few months ago when my wife Annie, who is an accounts manager, came home and told me the financial arm of the organisation she works for was moving to Germany.

"We sat down and talked about it and realised we had three options - either she took redundancy, managed a new team for the organisation or moved to Germany and I commuted.

"I decided I could fly in from Frankfurt at the beginning of my week, find some digs and then fly back at the end of the week.

"I told my boss we were planning to move to Germany and said 'I don't come to you with a problem unless I have a solution'.

"He asked me what my solution was and I told him I was going to commute.

"He looked at me blankly at first but it didn't take us long to sort it out.

"The force has been extremely supportive and arranged my hours so it suits me, the force and the community.

"So far, it's been a workable solution but people still think it's extraordinary. The only reason things might change would be if Annie finds it too difficult."

Inspector Rich Ward, Pc Hannigan's boss, said: "I've certainly never known anyone travel this kind of distance to get to work but Sean is the sort of character who will make this work.

"The alternative would have been to lose a great police officer. Sean is an absolutely tremendous police officer and his commitment and enthusiasm are second to none."

Derek Crane, chairman of Barlestone Parish Council, one of the villages on Pc Hannigan's beat, said: "I don't know how he does it but we are very glad we have been able to keep him because he is such a good and dedicated police officer."

Ivan Stafford, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: "It's an extremely rare situation and it shows his dedication to his job.

"The only case similar I can think of is an officer who was based at the airport and lived in Spain.

"Anecdotally, you hear about officers in the south who live in northern France, but it's very uncommon."