Not many police officers retire having had their name praised in Parliament. Even fewer have delivered a lamb.

When Ayrshire copper Graeme Gordon moved to a rural beat, he saw victims of crime had lost confidence in policing – and decided to change that.

 Graeme was working across the ward of Kyle when he found he was coming up against members of the farming community who were just not reporting crimes.

He said: “I wondered why, and they said ‘when we phone you don’t come’.

“I felt that they needed support and I wanted to be the direct line between the farming community and the police in Ayrshire.”

Cumnock Chronicle: PC Gordon at the Ayr County Show.PC Gordon at the Ayr County Show.

Graeme wanted to reinstate confidence in the farmers and village communities, so he drove around the area speaking to folk and then set-up Rural Watch – a group organised around a monthly email newsletter.

From thefts of quad bikes to horrifying attacks on live-stock, Graeme saw crime that needed tackled but knew information from local people was the key.

In return for taking the time to keep Graeme updated, the community had the friendship and support of man committed to making a difference.

It is 15 years since Graeme started Rural Watch, which now has over 800 subscribers across Ayrshire and beyond into Dumfries and Galloway, and he celebrated his first day of retirement on his 60th birthday last week.

He said: “Sometimes I thought I’d created a bit of a monster.

“I had to work a lot of days and nights off just to make sure things got done properly.

“But then one of the members would email to say ‘Graeme, you’re doing a good job’, and that happened weekly.”

One such high point happened when he was out taking photographs in the Carrick Hills on his day off.

He came across a ewe struggling to give birth.

“I’m not a farmer or anything like that, but I am a guy when I find a problem I want to try and deal with it.”

The lamb’s head and one of its legs were out and the mother was growing more tired, he knew they could both die.

Graeme rolled up his sleeves and delivered the lamb, which was barely showing signs of life.

He began to massage the newborn and then it spluttered awake.

“I smiled for days after that”, he said.

Cumnock Chronicle: Graeme with the newly-delivered lamb he saved.Graeme with the newly-delivered lamb he saved.

In March last year, Graeme’s name was raised in the House of Commons during a debate on wildlife crime, for which he has been a dedicated officer for the last nine years.

Alan Brown MP paid tribute to Graeme’s work.

He said: “I can vouch for his dedication to his job.

“He does a tremendous amount of liaison work with NFUS and the rural community.

“His work varies from investigating crimes to giving people a heads-up on issues and providing valuable advice.”

Along with being asked to come and speak before the Scottish Parliament, Graeme considers it a highlight of his career.

Cumnock Chronicle: Graeme at the Royal Highland Show with MSP John Scott and Sgt Alan McDowall.Graeme at the Royal Highland Show with MSP John Scott and Sgt Alan McDowall.

Christine Cuthbertson, NFU Scotland's Ayrshire Regional Manager, has worked closely with Graeme over the years.

She said: "Graeme came from an urban beat, to the rural parishes of Ayrshire and from day one he really wanted to engage with the farmers and rural community.

"He’s a real people person, he really cares about the community that he was helping. He would really help on a personal level. If somebody had suffered a crime. He took that time to speak to them. He really wanted to make a difference. I think that was the driving force.

"What he did gave the rural community the confidence to speak out and not let things go."

Senior officers in Ayrshire's police force praised their colleague as he retired.

Cumnock Chronicle: PC Gordon with CI Brian AndersonPC Gordon with CI Brian Anderson

CI Brian Anderson said: "Delighted to wish Graeme well... as he heads into retirement.

"Perhaps not the send off hoped for due to social distancing but an opportunity to mark the significant contribution he has made to policing in Ayrshire and in the Carrick area.

"A real gent who leaves with best wishes."

Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain said: "Wishing Graeme all the very best for his retirement.

"A big loss to policing in Ayrshire. One of the few officers I know to have been mentioned in [the House of Commons regarding] their work and certainly the only officer I know to have delivered a lamb."

Cumnock Chronicle: Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain with PC Gordon.Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain with PC Gordon.

Yet, having only just retired, Graeme is already eager to find work again, although he stresses it would be part-time so he can spend time with his wife, his two children and granddaughter.

He is eager to put his wealth of experience to good use in the wildlife or rural community – anyone with an opportunity for him is urged to get in touch.