Greenwich's top cop helped an officer mark his retirement after three decades by joining him on his last Eltham patrol.

During a 30-year career, PC Stuart Wood, 54, has spent 20 in Greenwich borough, spending time on the firearms team, response teams answering emergency calls, the borough intelligence unit and operations.

He said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Met, but specifically my time in Greenwich. I was born in Lewisham but was brought up in Eltham and attended primary school in Eltham too. This is the area close to my heart that I have enjoyed policing for the best part of my career.

"When I turned 24 I decided to join the police as I thought I could make a difference and it felt that this was a job worth doing. I could have never envisaged such a long career.

"I leave with plenty of good memories and I have policed some of the most amazing events including the Royal Wedding in 2011."

Amongst his memories Stuart recalls some of the saddest ones: "I worked throughout the week leading up to the funeral of the Princess of Wales - the sombre mood and the sheer amount of mourners is something that will stay with me for a long time."

The only break in his career was during his fight against cancer in 2002. However, as soon as he was able to, he returned to work.

He added: "I came back to work, even though I didn't feel 100 per cent - but being back in my uniform gave the strength and focus I needed. My colleagues were really supportive and I just felt better each day".

After beating cancer, PC Wood ran the London Marathon and raised £3,000 for charity.

Borough Commander Detective Chief Superintendent Helen Millichap said: "It is a pleasure to have been a bobby on the beat with Stuart for his last patrol.

"He has dedicated his entire career to protecting the people of Greenwich. I hope he will enjoy his retirement and will pop in for a cup of tea with his colleagues when he can."