A police officer who almost died after being exposed to novichok in Salisbury in 2018 has announced he is quitting the force because he can “no longer do the job”.
In a lengthy statement on Twitter, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey said he was leaving Wiltshire Police after 18 years because he now knew he would “not find peace” while remaining an officer.
At the end of the statement, he used the hashtag #MentalHealthMatters.
“After 18 years in the Police Force I've had to admit defeat and accept that I can no longer do the job. I wanted to be a Police Officer since I was a teenager, I couldn't envisage doing anything else, which is why this makes me so sad," he tweeted.
“Like most Police Officers, I’ve experienced my fair share of trauma, violence, upset, injury and grief. We deal with it, take it on the chin and keep going because that’s our job. But we’re still human and the impact this has shouldn’t be underestimated.”
“The events in Salisbury in March 2018 took so much from me and although I’ve tried so hard to make it work, I know that I won’t find peace whilst remaining in that environment. Policing will remain in my heart and I feel honoured and privileged to have been part of Wiltshire Police.”
Mr Bailey was the first investigator to enter Sergei Skripal’s home after the former double agent and his daughter fell ill in March.
Mr Bailey and other officers did not know at the time that novichok had been used, but later found the nerve agent had been smeared on a door handle.
experienced my fair share of trauma, violence, upset, injury and grief. We deal with it, take it on the chin and keep going because that’s our job. But we’re still human and the impact this has shouldn’t be underestimated. The events in Salisbury in March 2018 took…..
— Nick Bailey (@ExDsNickBailey) October 17, 2020
After being discharged from hospital, Mr Bailey said he and his family had endured an “emotional battering”.
“Not only did we lose the house, we lost all of our possessions, including everything the kids owned, we lost all that, the cars,” he said at the time. “We lost everything. And yeah it’s been very difficult to kind of come to terms with that.”