A retired police constable, described as ‘a cornerstone of community policing,’ has died.
Martin Warburton, known affectionately as ‘Warby’, was a reassuring, familiar, much-loved figure across Saddleworth’s villages.
He served more than 25 years as an officer and, as a tribute to his passion for the community, a retirement apartment block built opposite the police station in Uppermill was named Warburton Court in his honour.
Cllr John Hudson, former Mayor of Oldham, paid tribute, saying: “Martin was a truly wonderful police officer. A great representative for police and the whole community.
“He was respected by everyone and balanced being a good policeman with great care for people.”
Richard Hankinson, former squire of Saddleworth Morris Men, said: “Warby provided a police presence for the Rushcart in the early days and those who knew him from those times will have tales and anecdotes.
“He was a great bloke and will be missed. Saddleworth Morris send their condolences to Martin’s family.”
Oldham Mountain Rescue Team commented: “It is with great sadness that members learned about the death of PC Martin Warburton.
“Warby was the epitome of a local bobby and a great supporter of the team for many years. The team extends sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
A spokesman for GMPs local police team said they were shocked to hear of his passing on Christmas Eve and send sincere condolences to his family.
“He was a cornerstone of the community for more than a quarter of a century as community police officer. He was well respected across the whole of the Saddleworth and Lees area.
“Martin had the respect of colleagues from the wider police family and in particular the local policing team.”
On social media, residents described PC Warburton as ‘a one off’ and a ‘great character.’
One woman posted: “He was the epitome of a community bobby. He knew everyone and everything that was going on. He was firm when he needed to be and also kind when needed.
“He had a great sense of humour and fun but we all felt safer when he was around.”
Another said: “When we moved house, it had been stripped of all brass door latches, handles, light fittings even loo seats along with many other fittings.
“Within 24 hours all were back. PC Warburton just knew everyone.”
Another post described him as “a lovely man a great police officer we all loved him. He was a legend.”