2009 articles

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Mark FITZGERALD from Greater Manchester Police 20 OCT 2009

In October 2009 Mark FITZGERALD from Greater Manchester Police, based at Irlam Police station and who is part of the NPT there won an Award for PCSO of the year for the Salford Division, following 12 months of hard work and dedication to the people of Irlam & Cadishead.

Mark was one of the first PCSO's staff to join GMP in 2002 and has devoted the past 7 years of his service to the same community.

During the last year he has established and managed a number of Homewatch Schemes and is working on introducing more on his beat.

Following an increase in criminality and anti-social behaviour at Irlam Railway Station, Mark has secured funding to improve the security at the site and helped establish "Friends of Irlam Railway Station"

To address vehicle crime at the station, Mark has offered crime prevention advice and conducted a covert police operation resulting in the arrest of two offenders.

Mark FITZGERALD from Greater Manchester Police Sergeant Tom Martin from Salford South Neighbourhood Policing Team said, " Mark works hard to address anti-social behaviour in the comunity by patroling hot spots at priority times. He has established a strong working relationship with partners including local schools and holds regular police surgeries to assist them with their ongoing issues.

Mark has also set up a drop in day at the local high school,on his beat where youths from the school can come and have a chat with him. Mark is also well known on his beat and he also works lives in the area he patrols.

During local community meetings Mark has been praised by those living and working in the area, who recognise the dedication and commitment he has shown.

The next 12 months will be a challenge for all GMP staff, but Sergent Tom Martin said " I expect Mark to show the same enthusiasm as always and be the first officer to win the award on two occasions!!!!!!

New PCSOs Karpi, Goring, Mahil, Long 20 OCT 2009

Tamworth Police station have welcomed two new Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) to the beat.

PSCO Carys Long and PCSO Jasvir Mahil begin their supporting role to the Police officers of Tamworth, providing high visibility and accessibility whilst they patrol areas, mostly on foot. They also help support vital community partnerships which involves them working with the local authority and other partners in schemes to improve neighbourhoods and give local people a voice in decisions through regular “PACT” meetings – Partners and Communities Together.

PCSO Long, previously worked for Britains National Airline, spending 13 years there before choosing to become a PCSO. She said of her new role:

“I decided to have a complete change of career while at home on maternity leave. I wanted to use the skills I gained working with the flying public but in a more challenging and varied role,”

PCSO Mahil who joins PCSO Long on the Tamworth beat previously worked as a manager at Christian Dior perfumes. Speaking of her new role:

“More than anything else, I am looking forward to knowing I will be helping people every day. By just being there for someone will be the most rewarding part of my new job as a local PCSO,”


Last updated: 17/10/2009 06:30:00

PCSO Ian Prentice has won Community Police Officer of the Year PCSO 2009.

PCSO Ian Prentice pictured in South Lynn.
select for full story

A string of Norfolk bobbies - including one who saved a suicidal man and another who helped clean up the streets of Thetford - have been nominated for prestigious national awards.

PCSO Ian Prentice has been nominated for Community Support Officer of the Year at the Jane's Police Review Gala Awards, the most high-profile event recognising the work of police forces.

In February this year, Mr Prentice, who works in South and West Lynn, was approached by a seven-year-old who was a member of the youth club he had helped set up.

The boy told him that his dad, who suffered mental health issues, was threatening to jump in the river. He and a colleague arrived at the River Ouse to see the man sitting on a ledge over the water.

While his colleague called in the incident, Mr Prentice asked if he could sit with the man. They talked for more than an hour and Mr Prentice was able to convince him to leave the wall and seek medical help. Mr Prentice still visits the man at his home to ensure he is doing well.

Chief Constable Ian McPherson said: “There is no doubt that his work is having a very positive effect on the quality of life for people in the area.”

Sgt Stephen Burke is on the shortlist for Community Police Officer of the Year following “tireless work” to help clean up the streets of Thetford through Operation Civic Pride, aimed at driving down crime and restoring people's confidence in their neighbourhoods.

As part of this, he helped organise the area's largest litter pick-up, with 100 residents taking part. Following complaints about young people's behaviour on Halloween, Sgt Burke also banned the sale of eggs and flour in shops to under-18s, and enforced zero tolerance of illegal bonfires during the autumn.

Mr McPherson said: “In the past two years Stephen has made a huge difference to the town of Thetford, a challenging area of the county, by introducing and working passionately and enthusiastically on a number of schemes.”

please select for full story! Residents in the Charles Dickens West area of Portsmouth are safer thanks to a team who have cracked down on crime.

Published Date: 20 October 2009
By Clare Semke
Work by police constables Andrew Sims, Stephen Ryan, Craig Bibby, Caroline Burton and police community support officers Darren Ruston, Laura Stepin and Karen Rolfe led to charges for the possession of class A drugs, as well as the cultivation of class C drugs.

Other successes highlighted include the case of a homeless man who managed to find a home and a job thanks to the team's advice.

Their invaluable work also includes street arrests of a man for possession of 30 wraps of heroin, and a man in possession of a 12-inch kitchen knife.

please select for full story! Taunton constituency MP Jeremy Browne has criticised Conservative-controlled Somerset County Council for planning to cut the budget for police community support officers.

Jeremy Browne MP and Lyngford councillor Nicci Court and local PCSO Paul Haarhoff >
The Conservatives want to slash funding for PCSOs in Somerset by £129,000 in April 2010.

Jeremy Browne said: "The Conservatives plan to cut £129,000 from the budget for police community support officers in Somerset.

There is widespread public anxiety about crime and anti-social behaviour. So it is extraordinary that the Conservatives think the best response is to cut community-level police patrols.

What adds insult to injury is the Conservative council spending £50,000 on job advertising for a new chief executive. I think most people would rather see their Council Tax being spent on maintaining a visible police presence in their community.

The Conservative cut in funding for the police was kept secret before the County Council elections in June. They seem to believe that tackling crime is a low priority and we currently have too many police community support officers.

The Conservatives should have been honest enough to make their opposition to police community support officers clear before the County Council elections."

please select for full story! Tuesday 20th October 2009

By Laura Smith

CAMPAIGNERS staged a protest outside Southend police station to voice their anger at the loss of a police community support officer from their estate.

Residents decided to act after it was announced popular PCSO Jackie Jones would be leaving St Luke’s ward for a new role in the Kursaal ward.

A petition was signed by more than 250 residents who do not want her to leave because of the good work she has been doing around Cluny Square, Southend.

It was presented to Chief Insp Andy Prophet by about 12 residents during a heated protest.

Dennis Kerner, chairman of Peartree Residents’ Association, said they were going to keep on fighting the issue.

He said: “She’s done so much for the community and there’s still a lot ongoing, like setting up a bike repair shop, and other things she’s involved with, like the healthy living centre.”

“It’s all got to be dropped now so we don’t know how we’re going to carry on without her.

“She’s got such an influence with all the shopkeepers, the children . . . everybody really.”

Anna Waite, Southend councillor responsible for planning and transportation, was present to hand over the petition.

She said: “I understand the residents’ concerns. St Luke’s has really improved and we don’t want it to slip back.

“The youngsters have grown to respect Jackie and many residents work with her on projects in the ward.

“I am, however, pleased that we have been able to secure an undertaking that Jackie’s move will be re-evaluated in three months time and a promise that the police will be doing their best to ensure we do not see an increase in antisocial behaviour and petty crime.’ Sgt Paul Ahmed, of Southend’s neighbourhood policing team, said Jackie was part of a team of six PCSOs and three neighbourhood specialist officers who could all be credited for the work in St Luke’s ward.

Anti-social behaviour 'not police job'
A senior police officer told the inquest into the deaths of a family terrorised by a gang of youths that it was not the responsibility of police to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Published: 8:00AM BST 26 Sep 2009 Daily Telegraph
Fiona Pilkington, 38, was driven to such despair by the 16-strong gang that she drove to a secluded lay-by and set her car alight while she and disabled daughter Francecca Hardwick sat inside.

The inquest heard the family had suffered a catalogue of harassment, including "name-calling, taunts, damage to the family property and threats to the children to the extent that the family felt effectively prisoners in their own home".

At the inquest into the pair's deaths yesterday, Superintendent Steve Harrod, head of criminal justice at Leicestershire Police, acknowledged that the criminal justice system was set up to avoid sending juveniles to prison.

He said police officers were only allowed to issue warnings to young troublemakers unless their behaviour was judged to be serious.

"I'm not sure if people know but low-level anti-social behaviour is mainly the responsibility of the council"

Supt Harrod suggested that officers got "frustrated with not being able to do some things".

"From my personal experience, if a juvenile goes into detention, they are likely to mix with like-minded people during their time there and they are more likely to reoffend."

Praise for rescue in gas scare
Published Date: 24 September 2009  Yorkshire Post
A POLICE worker has been credited with saving a woman's life after finding her in a gas-filled room with a cigarette lighter.

Police Community Support Officer Liam McGrath went to an address in Stone Street, Honeywell, Barnsley, following an abandoned 999 call and found a woman locked inside about to pick up a lighter.

He said: "After some negotiation she agreed to open the door so I could quickly turn off the gas and move her away from the property. My main concern was for her safety and the safety of those in the flats nearby."

The woman was taken to hospital but had suffered no adverse effects. A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said PCSO McGrath had saved the woman's life.

select for full story New Watford PCSO enjoying life in Woodside
11:28am Wednesday 23rd September 2009

By Michael Pickard

Meeting elderly residents, dropping into the community centre and chatting to local teenagers is all in a day's work for Watford's newest Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).

Vanessa Howden-Smith joined the North Watford Neighbourhood Police team in July, and spent the first few weeks on the beat alongside PCSO David Gunn, who works in Stanborough ward.

She is now patrolling the streets of Woodside, where she has already held 'Stranger Danger' classes with local primary school children and surgeries with residents.

Vanessa said: “Being out there, yes you have to brave the weather but there aren't many jobs that pay you to be sociable. You're out there speaking to the community and being a presence.

“From young children to the elderly, everything's different. People come up to you and ask you so many questions.

“We are the foot patrol and they are really pleased to see us. Ninety-eight per cent of people are really pleased to see you and are very friendly and helpful.”

Vanessa, who lives in Hemel Hempstead with her 13-year-old son, left school to work in an office, but stopped when she became a mother. She later joined the road safety team at Hertfordshire County Council but left her job at County Hall to become a PCSO in Watford.

She said: “The life of a PCSO is an awful lot of walking but it's enjoyable. And I'm glad I have chosen to take this on.”

Vanessa, a motorbike enthusiast, said she hopes to build up Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Woodside area, while helping to stamp out what anti-social behaviour takes place there.

She added: “I'm pleased I have done this. I'm really happy and hope I feel this way in a couple of years.”

select for full story PCSO leaves to join the police
Date published: 23/09/2009

A Littleborough PCSO is to become a police officer.

Catherine White who has been the police community support officer for the Littleborough Lakeside ward of the Pennine Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) will remain a part of Greater Manchester Police in her new role as a police officer.

The 25-year old PCSO has been with the team since November 2006. She made the career change after working for six months as a clerical assistant at the Co-op Bank.

She said: “I have really enjoyed working as a PCSO, it has helped me in realising my potential and I now know that working indoors is not for me. I want to progress with the knowledge I have gained and become the most effective police officer I can be.

“I will miss the residents and my colleagues who I have built good relations with.

“I would like to thank PC Holt and Sergeant Joanne Reid as their guidance and support has helped me in moving forward with my career."

Since joining the Pennine NPT, Catherine has successfully established Home Watch schemes in the Ealees and Smithybridge area and has built up a great links with community members and officials alike.

Police Constable Cath Holt, community beat manager for Littleborough Lakeside of the Pennine NPT, said: “Catherine has provided the best possible service to members of the public and has used her problem solving abilities to help members of the public and reduce anti-social behaviour. This had always been a local issue for us and the letters of thanks she receives by members of the public is a real reflection of the good work she has done for everyone.

“I will personally miss her and her dedication to her role which she executed professionally throughout and I'm sure that Smithybridge and Ealees will miss her too.

“I along with the community she worked with would like to wish her all the best in her new role as a Police Officer and I’m sure she will be a real success.”

select for full story Kids Cops and Robbers Target Leeds Burglars
Thursday 24 Sept 2009

Schoolchildren from Harehills have adopted an unusual tactic to raise awareness of sneak-in and opportunistic burglaries and help reduce crime.

A number of 11-year-old pupils from Harehills Primary School on Darfield Road donned mock police uniforms and prison attire as they checked a number of local streets for insecure homes.

The children were accompanied by PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) from the Gitpon and Harehills Neighbourhood Policing Team as part of the IO9 project, which aims to give young children across West Yorkshire a practical insight into the work of the police.

When a property was found to be insecure the PCSOs advised the occupants on how they could protect their home as well as fitting a number of addresses with free trembler alarms.

Forming part of the IO9 Project, the children also visited some of the elderly residents at the sheltered housing complex at Louis Le Prince Court, explaining what they were doing and helping the PCSOs fit a number of free purse chains to help guard against personal property theft.

select for full story Police Community Support Officer Claire Darley, who has been organising the police activity, said: "This was a great experience for the children and was an innovative approach to raising local awareness of sneak-in or opportunistic type burglaries.

"Around a quarter of all burglaries are this type and occur as a result of unlocked doors or unsecured lower level windows.

"People are aware of these simple steps but it's easy to open a window while you're downstairs, then get distracted and forget about it.

"All the local residents we spoke to were really positive if a little surprised at having some young children on their doorstep dressed as a prisoner and a police officer and telling them how their home security could be improved.

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  2009 articles