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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 11:57 GMT
My Iraq: Douglas Brand
Former Deputy Chief Constable, Douglas Brand
Mr Brand was nicknamed the "Baghdad Bobby"
Douglas Brand went to Iraq in July 2003 to set up the new Iraqi police force.

Prior to that, he was Assistant Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police.

He left Baghdad in 2005 when the Foreign Office decided it was too dangerous for him to stay.

It was almost an impossible task.

It was clear to me we had a huge amount of work to do, to build up a police force in the capital city, let alone the rest of the country.

It was going to require a huge amount of work and a lot of time; time which politically wasn't available.

Every time you think you've found the bottom line - look again - because it's lower than you thought.

The saddest times were when there was a huge number of assassinations of senior police officers taking place.

They were being shot on their doorsteps, or as they were leaving or arriving at police stations.

I lost count of the number of times I went to a police station and the commander had just been killed, or one of the senior officers had been killed.

And that was one of three or four that day.

I think the highlight for me was the opportunity to brief visiting politicians and to give my opinion - and have my opinion listened to.

Former Deputy Chief Constable, Douglas Brand
Mr Brand was in charge of training the Iraqi police force from scratch

But now... I had an e-mail conversation with an Iraqi police colleague two days ago.

He's frightened for his life and he can't see an end to it.

There are certain places he can't even go, as he's targeted as being associated with us. His life is in danger.

Iraq is one of those places - it gets under your skin.

You can see what it could be.

It could be the heart of the Middle East - economically, politically, agriculturally.

That's if the men who control the violence, determine the violence must stop.

It's as simple and as difficult as that.

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