Sutton policing officer honoured for work tackling drug users in town
Work tackling drug users and shoplifting in Sutton has earned a policing officer a top award.
Police community support officer Simon Smith, of Nottinghamshire Police's Ashfield district policing team, was named PCSO of the year at the force's annual awards.
He liaised with colleagues from Ashfield District Council to work closely with retailers to reduce anti-social behaviour issues in the area, "working under considerable demand and pressure to tackle drug users in a high-profile area of Sutton town centre".
He said: ““Our tactics have included sharing patrol plans, increasing intelligence and dispersing offenders.”
A force spokesman said: "PCSO Smith has created closer relationship with different agencies, store managers and significantly reduced the problems.
"Between January and April, shoplifting in Sutton town centre sharply increased, which led to another problem-solving plan being initiated.
"PCSO Smith was central to this, patrolling the area almost daily and personally checking in with store managers.
"He has also overseen the delivery of community protection warnings to the 10 most problematic shop lifters in the town.
"As a result shoplifting offences reduced from 52 offences in April to 14 in June."
Inspector Craig Hall, Ashfield district commander, said: “I’d like to thank and congratulate PCSO Smith on his continued hard work. The force has identified him as a high performer and his work has made a great impact in the town centre.
“His hard work can be directly linked to preserving the reputation of Nottinghamshire Police, this can be evidenced by regular positive feedback I receive about Simon from our partners.
“He is an almost constant presence within the town centre where he knows all of the offenders and in return, they know him!
“The local shop managers and district councillor were over the moon with not only the reductions, but also the impact it had upon the town centre. They report that it is a much better place to be and that the atmosphere has transformed. This is heavily due to his commitment and hard work.”
The awards, held at Albert Hall, Nottingham, give the force the opportunity to "formally recognise the bravery, tenacity and commitment" of its officers and staff.