Posted December 06, 2015 18:02:36

The policeman who dedicated the final five years of his profession to investigating the suspected murder of Lucille Butterworth says he has completed enough to retire.

4 years ago Inspector David Plumpton declared he would solve the 46-year-old case, delaying his retirement to see it by way of.

Now that the coronial inquest into Ms Butterworth’s disappearance has drawn to a close, Inspector Plumpton said he felt he had carried out adequate to retire.

“No good me operating around saying I’m someone specific to do this, this is what you, the community, expect us to do, nothing at all a lot more,” he said.

“You don’t expect us to much less though and that was the difficulty — we hadn’t completed it appropriately before and now we have.”

As the final pieces of evidence were tendered to the inquest last week, he started packing up his workplace.

He stated it was the folks he would miss, along with both the “coppers” and the criminals.

In my view it hasn’t worked, we have this silence about suicide and the media won’t report suicide, why not? We are losing excellent men and women.

Inspector David Plumpton

“I appreciate hearing their stories. I enjoy them telling them some of these factors … some of them are bad, some are funny and some of them you believe what variety of world is that,” he mentioned.

Inspector Plumpton has covered some of the most vicious crimes in the state in his time, but mentioned they were not the ones that stayed with him.

It was the suicides of the young that had actually haunted him.

He mentioned the reluctance of the neighborhood and media to speak about it would not resolve the dilemma.

“In my view it hasn’t worked. We have this silence about suicide and the media won’t report suicide, why not? We are losing fantastic folks,” he said.

“Along the way there could or need to have been methods that a person could have taken, but we don’t necessarily recognise them.

“Families may possibly go by means of pondering that everything’s ok but it really is not.”

Drugs posing biggest challenge in future

Inspector Plumpton said that whilst crime was on the way down in Tasmania, the availability of illegal drugs in the community had elevated.

He mentioned law enforcement alone could not stop the difficulty.

Lucille Butterworth's brothers with Inspector David Plumpton. Photo: Lucille Butterworth’s brothers John (l) and Jim (r) with Inspector David Plumpton who vowed to solve the case 2011. (ABC)

“It is a substantial overall health concern and if men and women weren’t taking drugs, there would not be the marketplace,” he said.

“Some of these low life criminals can achieve the reputation they have simply because of their access to money.”

He stated that as well as the usual problems connected with drugs, the demand and availability of drugs, such as speed, in the neighborhood had resulted in a shifting of the criminal hierarchy.

Inspector Plumpton said criminals, who in the previous would have focussed on petty crime, now had the funds to recruit others for more serious criminal ventures.

“These drug dealers are low level criminals who have access to a lot of cash and throw it about and so there is been a adjust in position in people in the criminal globe due to drugs,” he said.

Inspector Plumpton mentioned he was nervous about life outside the force, but doubted he would be back, not even to hear the coroner’s findings on Ms Butterworth.

When he walks out of Hobart police station for the final time on Wednesday, he will have been in the job a couple of months short of 41 years.

Subjects: police, law-crime-and-justice, hobart-7000

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