Novichok Police Officer Quits

Det Sgt Nick Bailey the police officer who was contaminated with Novichok nerve agent at the home of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March 2018 has decided to leave the police due to the after effects of the poison.
He returned to duty last year, but said the aftermath took “so much from me” and “I had to admit defeat”.
He worked for Wiltshire Police for 18 years and feels “so sad” to have to leave after wanting to be an officer since his teens.

Very sad, I can only wish him well.


This is really sad. An awful lot of our Police Officers are really dedicated to the job, the nature of which like the other services lends itself to close comradeship. He’s not just losing a job but a way of life.

The Bailey family lived in our village when this all happened. Must have been an extremely traumatic experience.

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Always struck me that this was an odd tool to use to attempt an assasination due to the risk of collateral damage when more direct methods would have presumably been feasible.

It wasn’t about assassinating him efficiently, it was about sowing fear and using a method which would point as unambiguously at the source as possible whilst still being deniable by the state.



Yes “the perpetrators” should be ashamed of themselves. But clearly are not bothered in the slightest, and used the same noxious material again very recently.

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No real comment from the force, surely a role somewhere for this guy…very sad.


On the face of it it sounds like he has decided work is just to much now. Most UK forces would certainly accommodate him in any suitable roll if he wished. Trouble is if you’re doing one role you love it’s difficult to accept or adapt to another especially if you don’t get the job satisfaction you used to get out of it. Then of course the effects of the poison and subsequent acute medical care could well be long lasting with the accompanying possible mental health issues


A sad outcome indeed. The extent of the commitment to public duty of many of our police officers in the UK never ceases to impress me… and I find some senior officers truly inspiring.

Some, yes, but sadly a dying breed.

Perhaps, but luckily not in my current experiences.

Good to hear.

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Not in my experience either but feel a bad mistake was made with the creation of “Police Commissioners”. Whilst the original idea seemed a reasonable one. It immediately turned onto a political football, with only right or left politicians getting “elected (appointed…). This has left some Chief Constables at odds with a politician as to how to direct resources etc. The idea that the commissioner is a democratic oversight is a joke as previously there were Police authorities made up of many people from several sources. Now there is just one often with their own political agenda. Whatever system you put in place should never be political.

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I agree the sentiments ChifChaf, a problem in some respects, a benefit in others, depending on points of view, not forgetting this moves UK towards a political similarity with USA policing & the problems that brings.

But thread back on track, my thoughts are with the life changing decision needed of Nick Bailey bought on by just doing his job, also never forgetting Andrew Harper & all other police officers putting themselves in harms way every day on each shift to protect us & our way of life & freedoms.


Hmm US policing and UK policing as well as many European policing are very different in my experience
In the UK we have the policing by consent traditions which loosely defines the key principles of UK policing, through the ‘General Instructions’ or the so called Robert Peel’s 9 Principles Policing.

The US policing approach appears to be of a semi military style law and order enforcement approach.

For example the UK Police training may focus on the use of space and time to deescalate, where as in the US there is a reliance of escalated use of force. (source J Cobbina, associate professor in criminal justice, Michigan State University)

Now I agree the PCC (Police and Crime Commissioners) are contentious as they introduce regionalised main stream political thinking into where to set priorities including resources to focus on the more distinct policing needs of an area at the same time supposedly bringing local accountability… but to my mind that is removed from the discipline of policing itself.

Further the NPCC (National Police Chief’s Council) provides a degree of uniformity in approach, coordination and national reform and improvement across all UK police forces.

Hi Simon
All you say above is correct up to a point…

PCC’s from a police point of view have not added anything useful, indeed there are many instances where they have sought to influence how policing is done and what is prioritised. This historically was always a Chief Constables job, with checks and balances via the local Police Authority. Currently chief Constables in the UK will all have had hands on experience from constable upwards and are far better qualified to set goals, parameters and objectives than any PCC. Take London I could easily state that in my opinion the current mayor promoted policies in part with an eye to politics which led to a huge rise in knife crime.

The office of the PCC adds yet another substantial and unnecessary cost the local police budget. Police authorities were a non cost oversight board.

This is of course not to say that chief Constables are perfect indeed a small minority have been a disaster. I for one do not want to live with a politically driven police service, politics should always be kept out of policing, I just wish they would abolish PCC’s tomorrow!
Andrew Harper and his colleagues deserve better

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Exactly my previous point, PCC’s have bought more politics into policing & although some would argue it’s an added balance, I am not sure.

I agree, but I think you overstate this point with respect to PCC to some extent. Policing is a state run service ultimately under the direction of the Home Office and ultimately the Secretary of State and so politically aligned.

I guess your point is to what extent this control and managing of police authorities is centralised (ie Home Office) vs localised (PCCs) . This in itself is a political discussion of centralisation vs localisation, and it extends beyond policing into many public services such as government, health, fire, education etc. Arguments against localisation often tend to focus on overheads and costs, where as against centralisation is lack of accountability and local insight.

I guess ultimately the way the country is governed is set by general elections and so we can vote for parties with their own approaches to localisation vs centralisation. But where a service is publicly funded it ultimately comes under the direction of the elected political government.

Well off topic now chaps.

Yep… indeed, guilty as charged.