A severed head found rolling around on a riverbank might not seem obviously funny, but Alfie Moore’s knack for ’gallows humour’ has seen him turn from policing to stand-up.

“I was on the radio saying ’this man is dead’, but police aren’t qualified to say that, so they were saying ’we’re sending a doctor’ and I was like ’no, no, he’s definitely dead’.

“I suppose seeing the funny side is a pressure relief.“ The 49-year-old hung up his Humberside Police hat three-years-ago for an extended sabbatical and instead of pursuing criminals began chasing laughs across the country with stories exposing the bureaucracy and banter of our police force.

He is hoping to give an arresting performance when he comes to The Maltings this month with his pre-Edinburgh show.

Recalling a story from his early career he says: “When I was on probation I had to work in the morgue bagging up bodies and I used to talk to them because I was so nervous and didn’t like touching them.

“So I would be explaining to them what I was doing.

“You have to turn them over and check them because if there’s a knife in their back and police have missed it, it looks quite bad.“

His first comedy show was about the riots and he then joked about gambling, but has come back to cop stories due to public demand and has even been commissioned to do a Radio 4 show, It’s a Fair Cop, to air in July.

“I think it’s just one of those careers. People just seem to be intrinsically interested in the police.

“If I was a plumber I don’t think I would be there with a show about copper piping.“

The father-of-one left school at 15 with no qualifications and says the leap into comedy is ’all thanks to his wife’ of nine years, Jez, who dragged him to his first comedy club in Scunthorpe and told him to ’follow his dream’ when he realised he wanted to be on stage.

“She is a vicious critic, she’s evil. She will just say ’that’s not funny’ She’s very truthful and that’s actually helped me a great deal.“

He is also writing a book about the more serious side of policing and says: “There were some very emotional scenes that aren’t comedy in any way.

“My very first job out of training school was a traffic incident in the ‘80s. There was a young lad driving and the 16-year-old lass who was the passenger died in front of me in my arms. I remember going home thinking ’Is this for me?’. But I went back and carried on.“

He has worked as a plain clothed policeman, in the drugs department, with vulnerable people and qualified as a Detective Sergeant and did crime investigations before swapping to neighbourhood policing and could go back at anytime. But he says his bosses were happy to take off the cuffs and let him be a law unto himself on stage.

“Policing is often considered to be very secretive and we hardly get any serving cops go on telly and speak about it, but I’m happy to talk and give my views. The organisation has been very supportive.

“They are desperate to be seen as open.“ Local police turn up at almost every gig he does to hear him talk about subjects such as Plebgate and the massaging of crime figures and there have been some hairy moments with former criminals.

“I have done rough pubs where I have thought ’this could go wrong’.

I had one guy who I saw come careering over and took my hands out of my pockets as I thought he was going to smack me, but he said: “I have been to prison and hate the police. But I like what you are doing”.

“We would ever have reached that guy as an organisation, but I reached him through comedy.“

The Maltings Arts Theatre, Level 2, The Maltings, St Albans, Friday, May 23, 8pm. Details: 0333 666 3366, maltingsartstheatre.co.uk