Andy Barrs of Tracker answers Barker's Dozen
12 May 2015
1 What was your first job?
Police cadet - I joined South Yorkshire Police in 1979 aged 16. The pay was terrible - about £30 per week. The majority of our time was spent making tea and coffee!
2 What was your first company car?
My first job car was a 1978 Vauxhall Chevette, a marked police panda car. It had rocket ship mileage, the seats were completely shot and the handling was terrible.
3 What did you listen to on your last car journey?
The Ken Bruce show on Radio 2 - I regularly tune in while I'm out visiting police forces
4 What one thing do you wish you could do better?
Gardening - my wife frequently complains that I'm killing plants I've mistaken for weeds
5 What's your biggest achievement?
I undertook a fixed-term contract as the interim chief executive of a charity called 'Sheffield Futures', which involved working with disadvantaged young people struggling to develop the right skills to secure a job.
Subsequently, I headed up a successful City Region bid to secure a £10m five-year National Lottery pre-employment programme, which is starting to make a positive impact. Convincing a large group of competing charities to work together for the common good was a massive challenge, but we got there and it was a tremendously proud moment.
6 Who are your role models?
John Nesbit, the police chief superintendent (now retired) - he was a police leader who everyone respected. He valued every member of staff and would always make time to stop and talk to them, regardless of seniority. It's a quality I rarely see in senior managers today.
7 What's the stupidest thing you've done?
During the London Olympics, as chief superintendent, I delivered a 'Professional Standards' briefing to a large group of officers due to leave Sheffield to support the Metropolitan Police for a few weeks. While speaking, a couple of supervisors appeared amused by my words, but I thought better of confronting them during the address. Afterwards, I asked what they found so amusing, only to hear that the fly on my trousers had been down.
8 What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?
Public sector tendering processes - they're a nightmare!
9 What's in your garage?
A '56' plate diesel-powered Skoda Fabia. It's never missed a beat and it does 60 to the gallon. I've also invested in a set of snow tyres.
10 What's the worst thing about your job?
Driving - I've done nearly 25,000 company miles this year travelling the country negotiating with all UK police forces, which has played havoc with my posture.
11 What one law would you make or change?
I'd like a specific law that penalises drivers who think the nearside lane of a motorway is just for HGVs.
12 What keeps you awake at night?
My wife and I have found a three-bedroom dormer bungalow we are updating to a five-bedroom house. Every time I speak to the builder there's something extra on top of the price we originally agreed, so as a spendthrift Yorkshireman that doesn't make for a decent sleep pattern.
13 Who is your ideal celebrity date?
Rachel Riley - I'm a big fan of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and I'm rubbish at maths so I was hoping she might be able to give me a few pointers!
Company Tracker Network UK
Job title Head of police liaison
Home town Sheffield
Sum up your company in 13 words or fewer: Tracker is the UK's leading stolen vehicle recovery and fleet/insurance telematics company.