POLICE in Cumbria have paid their respects to the detective who was poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack after he announced he was leaving the police force.

Officers from Copeland Police were amongst thousands of people on Twitter thanking ex-detective sergeant Nick Bailey for his years of service and wishing him well for the future. 

Mr Bailey came into contact with nerve agent Novichok when he searched the Salisbury home of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in 2018. 

Sergei and Yulia had been found collapsed on a park bench in the city; the victims of poisoning. 

In his Tweet, Mr Bailey said: "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. 

"I am so grateful for the opportunities that they’ve given me, and the support that I’ve received. We’ve all seen that the ‘policing family’ very much exists and in the current climate it’s more important now than ever. 

"To all those in the police, I salute you. Keep fighting the good fight, I’m just sorry that I’ve made the thin blue line that little bit thinner."

Copeland Police responded to his emotional Tweet, saying: "All the best DS Bailey."