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Retiring Stoughton police community support officer (PCSO) Sheila Willis has been presented with a special Neighbourhood Watch award.
The award is for the PSCO who has made the most valuable contribution to Neighbourhood Watch in Surrey. Sheila was presented with her award by Surrey Police’s Chief Constable, Lynne Owens, at the force’s HQ at Mount Browne.
Woking resident Fui Ling Bolton received a similar award for a Neighbourhood Watch member.
The chairman of the Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Association, Rodney Amor, said it had been very difficult to choose the two winners due to the high standard among the nominees. He added: “We are lucky to have such an excellent group of people in Surrey working in association with Neighbourhood Watch. This is the first year that we have made these awards and we look forward to honouring other individuals in the future. Making the awards at this time is a useful curtain raiser for Neighbourhood Watch Week.”
The Chief Constable chatted to the two recipients and mentioned Sheila Willis’ retirement adding that Sheila “was a role model for PCSOs”.
Mr Amor added that although Sheila has just retired as a PCSO, she is no stranger to police work as she was herself in earlier days a PC. Many sponsors were anxious to point out her effectiveness and her friendly manner.
Being a PCSO was the crowning point to a career for some one who loves people, likes talking and being involved with them. Her empathy with those she served comes across with many informative comments made by those who supported her nomination. She had a great ability in getting under the skin of the community were she worked to understand their problems.
Sheila’s ‘can do attitude’ has seen the formation and maintenance of Neighbourhood Watch groups. She is regarded by many as a treasure for Guildford, and even up to her last days in the role was tutoring new PCSOs.
The 2012 Neighbourhood Watch Awards are a fitting reminder of the forthcoming National Neighbourhood Watch Week which starts on the June 16. During the week Surrey Police and Surrey Neighbourhood Watch volunteers will work in partnership to develop new schemes across the county.
Superintendent Matt Bristow from Surrey Police said: “Surrey is proud to have more than 3,500 Neighbourhood Watch schemes, all based on the principles of like-minded residents getting together to ‘keep watch’ over each other, reduce crime and make their communities safer places to live, work and play.
“Our neighbourhood teams will be working closely with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers throughout the week to promote the scheme and encourage new streets to sign up to this hugely successful initiative.”
To find out more or for advice on joining or setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, contact your local Surrey Police neighbourhood officer on 101, or visit the national Neighbourhood Watch website www.ourwatch.org.uk