Family pays tribute to hero former East Lancashire police chief

A brave and well-respected retired East Lancashire police chief inspector, who served 30 years with Lancashire Constabulary and won multiple awards for his bravery and hard work serving the community, has died aged 66.

Friday, 26th February 2021, 12:30 pm
The late Mr Shaun Sumner who served 30 years with Lancashire Constabulary

Father-of-three Mr Shaun Sumner, of Whalley, died peacefully after a short illness at Royal Blackburn Hospital, on February 19th - almost six years to the date of his brother, Inspector Alan Sumner’s passing.

Mr Sumner was born in Church, Accrington in 1954 and attended Billinge Grammar School. He joined the Police Cadets aged 17 and at 18 won the "Police Cadet of the Year Award".

He quickly climbed the ranks and won several awards across his policing career for good police work, long service, life saving, and perhaps most notably, The William Garnett Cup, along with his then colleague PC Neil Smith. The William Garnett Cup is presented annually to the officer performing the most gallant deed and in 1982 Mr Sumner was awarded the prestigious accolade for displaying great courage in disarming and arresting a man who was armed with a large knife and acting in a threatening and aggressive manner.

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A family spokesman said: "He always said ‘it is not the taking part that counts, but the taking part with the intention to win’, something which stayed with him in his career when Shaun was promoted to Chief Inspector of Fire Arms in Hutton in 1996."

Mr Sumner and his brother, Insp. Alan, were very well-known across Lancashire Constabulary. In a tribute from NARPO (The National Association of Retired Police Officers), they are quoted as saying: "He [Shaun] did not suffer fools gladly and policed in a very firm, but fair manner. It was said he was destined for a very senior position in the Police, but sadly health issues prevailed and he retired from the force."

Describing him as a "devoted family man", his family added: "When he wasn’t working, Shaun loved socialising over a drink regaling police stories, and restoring motorbikes. He undertook many fundraisers for the community throughout his life including Macmillan Cancer, East Lancashire Hospital Trust's Scanner Appeal, motorbike rallies for the local Scouts and girl Guides and Langho Juniors’ Football Club.

"He was a devoted family man and leaves behind his supportive wife, Linda, and three children Kerrie, Alexander and Nina."

A private invitation-only funeral will take place on Wednesday, March 3rd, at Accrington Crematorium at 12-20pm. For details of the live webcast and how to donate to his cause, Help for Heroes, please CLICK HERE