North Devon cops top the lot

POLICE officers from North Devon have been honoured for their outstanding commitment to neighbourhood policing in their local communities. PCSO Tony Charles from Barnstaple received the Police Community Support Officer of the Year award while PC Glyn Clar

POLICE officers from North Devon have been honoured for their outstanding commitment to neighbourhood policing in their local communities.

PCSO Tony Charles from Barnstaple received the Police Community Support Officer of the Year award while PC Glyn Clark and PCSO Hannah Denton were given the prestigious Neighbourhood Team of the Year award for their work in Bishops Tawton, Landkey, Swimbridge and Whiddon Valley.

The officers attended an award ceremony at Powderham Castle, near Exeter, where they were presented with their awards by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary's chief superintendent Jo Tennant.

PCSO Charles said: "I am honoured to receive such an award, particularly for doing a job I enjoy so much. The residents of Sticklepath and Roundswell have made me feel so welcome; most people now refer to me on first name terms with some of the younger children calling me 'PC Tony'."

Some of the projects PCSO Charles has been involved in include setting up a mural under the Taw Bridge with North Devon College to reduce graffiti, a youth shelter in Ellerslie Park; as well as a youth club with the help of local councillors and schools. He was also instrumental in protecting the local church, which had become the target of criminals. His tireless work resulted in the offenders being arrested, charged and convicted following his drive to secure a covert security camera for the community.

Likewise, neighbourhood team PC Clark and PCSO Denton have made a positive impact on their beat area of Whiddon Valley, Landkey, Swimbridge and Bishops Tawton.

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The team has won the support of the community and worked closely with the residents to transform their neighbourhoods for the better and improve their quality of life.

The officers initiated the "Police Junior" and "Safety Net" projects which were so successful they attracted national media attention and have been quoted as best practice. Such is the strength of the relationship between local schools and the team that PCSO Denton has been elected school governor at one of the schools on her patch.

Whiddon Valley vicar, the Reverend, David Kay, said: "In the 15 years I have served in Whiddon Valley this is the best policing we have had.

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