** There are two separate winners for the award this year **
PCSO Lauren Drew – Local Policing North
PCSO Joanne Halfpenny – Local Policing North
Mr David Pearsall commissioned his award for presentation to the Police Community Support Officer who the Chief Constable judges as being the PCSO of the previous year.
The winner will be authorised for independent patrol, have completed a six-month probationary period and will have been judged on their personal contribution, interaction and engagement within the local community in addressing their concerns, fear of crime and on improving reassurance. There should also be a focus on problem-solving issues that impact upon fear of crime and reassurance.
PCSO Lauren Drew
Lauren Drew has been a PCSO in Leek town centre for ten years. She is well respected by partner agencies and key community figures.
She was instrumental in organising a joint partnership operation, including immigration service and the environmental agency, to tackle issues of child vulnerability. Through the operation, numerous fast food outlets were visited, several arrests made and fines issued to three food outlets.
In another incident, Lauren was passing through Leek town centre in an unmarked police car when she witnessed a man leaving his vehicle brandishing a hammer and approaching a group of about 12 men. She immediately stopped, left her vehicle and requested assistance. Her quick actions and bravery separated the parties, gained possession of the weapon and kept the suspect at the location until officers attended.
Following a number of purse thefts in Leek town centre over several months, with no identified suspects, Lauren worked persistently and identified a pattern. The thefts were taking place primarily in charity shops that had no CCTV. Lauren was able to arrange the installation of equipment in the shops and after examining hours of CCTV she spotted a female suspect. This led to successful arrest of a mother and son from Bradford.
These incidents demonstrate the level of courage, commitment and personal responsibility that Lauren shows consistently towards the community she serves.
PCSO Joanne Halfpenny
Joanne Halfpenny is a PCSO for the Goldenhill and Sandyford ward of Stoke North Local Policing Team. Joanne has demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to her local ward area, which is recognised as being one of the most challenging in the city.
In particular, she has formed a very positive relationship within the travelling community in gaining their confidence and respect. This has resulted in community tensions being successfully managed and reduced.
Joanne has been acknowledged by the local Residents’ Association, partners and police colleagues as providing a positive influence on reducing crime and disorder in the area, reassuring the public and supporting some of the most vulnerable in her community.
The crime prevention and reassurance work Joanne has conducted in the ward over the last 12 months has contributed towards the best reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour in Stoke North. In fact, it is one of the best across the north of the county with a 16% reduction in anti-social behaviour and a 13% reduction in all crime.