ROUNDS of applause and tearful goodbyes marked the outgoing chief constable’s final hours as head of Avon and Somerset Police.

Emotional staff bid their leader farewell today as he left the force’s headquarters in Portishead for the last time, one day before officially retiring.

Tears were shed by some as Mr Port closed the door on his eight-year stewardship, during which the number of victims of crime dropped by 46,000.

Preceded by the ceremonial mace team, he was escorted by two police motorcycle outriders and officers from the mounted section while staff of all ranks lined the route.

The outgoing chief said he was touched by the spontaneous applause and tears as he left the headquarters.

"I was very moved by the kindness shown by my colleagues who said goodbye to me today," he said. "I am enormously grateful to those officers and staff from Avon and Somerset Police for the fantastic support shown to me, and for the great job everyone is doing to keep the people of Avon and Somerset safe."