After 39 years in uniform and seven years running Britain’s best performing police force, Durham’s top cop has revealed plans to step down on June 7. This week, Mr Barton, who led Durham to three successive Outstanding ratings in the annual Peel inspections, confirmed his retirement in a letter sent with “mixed emotions” to Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg. Chief Constable Barton said: “There remain many challenges in policing that I would have relished tackling, but there comes a time when one should hand the baton to the next generation of talented and committed people who will bring their own style, thinking and approach”. In response, Mr Hogg said he had been “very fortunate to have such a dedicated, forward-thinking and passionate” chief constable during his term in office.