SAGAR: Ronald Peter
Died 29 March 2010, aged 75: Sandal Methodist Church was packed on 12 April 2010 for the funeral of Ron Sagar, a measure of the widespread affection and respect felt for this retired policeman. Ron died at his Sandal home after a long illness. He retired with the rank of detective chief superintendent in 1989. Following an invitation from the Foreign Office, he went on to serve five years as criminal investigations advisor to the government of Lesotho. It was while in southern Africa that he became aware of the desperate poverty in Lesotho and he and his wife, Phyllis, revisited the country several times after his return to the UK. He tried to help by taking donations, food and blankets from Wakefield Rotary Club. He was also instrumental in ensuring that the country benefited from Rotary's 2006 campaign to provide wheelchairs.
Geoff Ogden, a former detective chief superintendent and head of Humberside CID, served with Ron in Hull City Police, Humberside Police and twice on regional crime squads. He wrote in the Hull Daily Mail: "I have worked with many first-class detectives, but Ron Sagar was the most tenacious, fearless and bravest of all of them. He would tackle, with immense dedication, the most difficult enquiries, batting off all obstacles put in his way. He was feared but admired by members of the criminal fraternity. He bore his long battle with cancer with the same grit, determination and courage as he did when a detective. Despite being ill, he would enquire regularly of the health of friends and former colleagues and he will be sadly missed," he added.
Ron joined Hull City Police in 1956 after five years in the Royal Air Force. He e served for two years as a constable before being transferred to the CID after making a name for himself as a "thief taker". His early rise in status continued when he was promoted to detective sergeant at the age of 26, the youngest officer at that time to have reached such a position in the Hull force. Ron investigated a series of fatal fires in Hull in the late 1970s, leading to the arrest of arsonist Bruce Lee. The Lee case made him a national name and in retirement at Sandal he wrote about it in a book he titled Hull, Hell and Fire. He also headed many murder investigations in the city, the aftermath of the Hull Prison riot in 1976 and internal corruption in West Yorkshire police. After rising through the ranks to become a detective chief superintendent with Humberside Police, he became co-ordinator of the Wakefield-based Regional Crime Squad, leading a number of investigations into serious organised international crime. His successes included the smashing of a major South American cocaine smuggling operation. In 1982 he was awarded an MBE for his criminal investigation work.