Friend of Wapping Traffic Sergeant Jak Bentley retires – happy riding!

Good friend of Wapping (and east London) Traffic / Roads Policing Sergeant Jak Bentley is retiring from the Met this weekend and LW would like to take a moment to thank Jak Bentley for his many years service keeping us all safe.

“And I get paid to do this!” Jak at the Tower of London

We first met Jak (aka @jak_bentley) when he was in charge of the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) for Wapping and Shadwell.

Discussing the Pennington Street problem in November during Community Safety Walkabout
Discussing the Pennington Street problem in November 2015 (?) during a Community Safety Walkabout (Jak is the wobbly one).

 

During his time with the SNT Jak went to extraordinary lengths to look after Wapping with ever diminishing resources.

Always approachable, professional and helpful Jak was a great no nonsense copper who ensured that unwelcome visitors to E1W realised that they were just that – unwelcome.

Jak keeping an eye out for boy racers while Wapping sleeps

One of our enduring memories of Jak is one evening spotting him standing outside Laksha Bay in Wapping Lane partially hidden by the scaffolding at the front of the restaurant.

We stood and had one of our usual chats with Jak as he watched and waited.

After a few minutes Jak’s SNT colleagues returned from their work (probably around the back of the bakers) but kept a low profile. Despite this passers by were slightly concerned to see several coppers loitering with obvious intent.

As we were the only civilian loitering too it was fairly obvious from the looks we were getting that we were assumed to be the prime suspect for whatever had happened…

A man happy in his job.

We asked Jak why he was waiting outside a popular east London curry house? (@GPCIRFrancis may wish to make a comment here…)

Jak was not waiting for a biriani – he was patiently waiting one of the idiots who plagued Wapping with their high speed driving to drive down Wapping Lane.

He explained that if said driver appeared around the corner at the Health Centre he would appear from his scaffolding hide and wave the car to a halt.

More than anyone Jak knew that it was very difficult to catch the boy racers in the act of reckless driving around our narrow streets. But only patience and dedication was required to stop them in their vehicle and carry out the standard checks for insurance and wearing a seat belt.

The boy racers only having an IQ just above room temperature it was extremely likely that they would fail these basic test and be fined.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Jak patrolling at Hermitage.

Quite quickly said boy racer would accumulate more fines than he could pay and his car would then be seized.

Another idiot off our roads and Wapping a little more safer.

This tactic appealed to our sense of humour and kept a grin on the Wapping Mole’s face for quite some time.

Another great copper, Inspector Ryan ‘two scones and extra jam and cream please’ Francis, took over responsibility for the SNT and he shared a passion for motorbikes with Jak.

Jak’s BMW parked up at St. Katharine’s Dock

So it was no surprise that soon after Ryan Francis left Tower Hamlets to achieve his ambition of working in Traffic and Roads policing that he stole Jak from us!

Cheek. Ryan is now policing an area to the west of London apparently.

Nice colour, wrong paperwork. Another vehicle off the road courtesy of Jak.

A while after this we met Jak on his shiny BMW with a power plant the size of a small planet and it was evident how happy he was keeping London safe on his trusty steed.

Rare archive photo of Jak Bentley paying for the teas.

Despite not being based in Wapping Jak did help us all out when we were having particular problems with the boy racers and he would again be lurking in the shadows.

Jak Bentley outside our local fort.

So on behalf our our little part of the East End of London we would like to wish Jak well in his hard earned retirement. We have a feeling that once he adjusts to being a ‘civvie’ he will be spending even more time on two wheels.

Many thanks for your service Jak. Ride safe and please do visit Wapping when you can.


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