Village PCSO upbeat on the streets

PUBLISHED: 11:27 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

PCSO Tracy Kennedy, and Neighbourhood Watch chairman Peter Suttlewood - 2170DW9

PCSO Tracy Kennedy, and Neighbourhood Watch chairman Peter Suttlewood - 2170DW9

ASHWELL S new police community safety officer introduced herself to villagers and praised their efforts in crime prevention. PCSO Tracy Kennedy joined residents at a Neighbourhood Watch meeting – her first real chance to meet and build relationships wit

ASHWELL'S new police community safety officer introduced herself to villagers and praised their efforts in crime prevention.

PCSO Tracy Kennedy joined residents at a Neighbourhood Watch meeting - her first real chance to meet and build relationships with some of the people she will be working alongside.

She had previously spent three years at the police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City before undertaking her PCSO training in September.

Since completing her training, PCSO Kennedy has been stationed at Royston to cover the rural areas, which span from north of Baldock up to the Cambridgeshire border.

PCSO Kennedy said: "With regards to Ashwell, my main priority is to be a visible presence on the streets, and to be approachable to members of the public if they have any needs or concerns."

And since her deployment at the beginning of the year, she said she was enjoying her new role and very much looking forward to the task ahead.

She added: "I'm really enjoying the position, as it brings many challenges that I can get my teeth into.

"I love the job, especially in the sense that you never know what the day will hold, or what may happen during a shift.

"It is also very satisfying knowing that you can actually make a difference to people's lives."

And PCSO Kennedy shouldn't be taken lightly - she doubles up as a staff protection trainer, teaching officers self defence, handcuffing techniques, pepper spray action and baton training.

PCSO Kennedy has also praised the people of Ashwell, who are trying to keep their village safe, and believes the Neighbourhood Watch meeting was a positive step in crime prevention.

The 35-year-old said: "The meetings are very important in the sense that residents can assist us in identifying problems.

"It also gives me the opportunity to introduce myself.

"There has not been a dedicated PCSO in the area for a while, and the meeting was a good time to re-iterate how things work, and how I can support them."

PCSO Kennedy and other police representatives gave an overview on the crimes that had taken place in the area over the last 12 months and advised the group on a number of crime prevention methods.

She said: "North Herts has always been a very safe area to live in and the residents should take comfort in this.

"However, most people will be aware that there was an increase in crime in Ashwell over the Christmas period, with several shops and houses suffering burglaries."

However, despite the slight increase, Neighbourhood Watch chairman Peter Shuttlewood said: "Top marks should be given to the police, because they do a very good job around here and their crime prevention is excellent.

"There isn't a lot of crime in the area and we are very lucky, but it's still important for residents to be vigilant.

"The meeting went very well, and everyone got the chance to talk and the police representatives were very informative.

"This is an upgrade from the old traditional Neighbourhood Watch meeting - crime has moved on, and so have we."

In particular residents would like to see a control of speeding vehicles through the village and a monthly police patrol.

Mr Shuttlewood said: "We are confident that we can act on what was raised and I feel a real link between the police and the villagers has been made.

"It was great to have Tracy at the meeting and a lot of members praised her contribution. She's a good PCSO and will no doubt be a valuable asset to our village."

The 69-year-old, who manages Sunnymead Orchard, said: "It's important that we work together. Hopefully we can combat crime even further."

PCSO Kennedy added: "We will be urging residents to contact the police if they see anything strange or unusual in the area.

"I would encourage people to stop me while I'm on patrol as this is part of what I am there for.

"After all, they are the eyes and ears of the village."

- Residents may contact Mr Shuttlewood on 01462 742319 or mrpete@onetel.com.

PCSO Tracy Kennedy can be contacted on 01438 757935.

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