Mark up for best UK officer award

A POLICE community support officer who scooped a county award earlier this year is now in line to be named the best in the country.

Mark Tooley, who works on the Kingswood, Danesholme and Great Oakley areas of Corby, is up for the Police Review magazine’s Community Police Officer of the Year Award.

He was put forward by Northamptonshire Chief Constable Peter Maddison.

The officer, who gave up his job as a car mechanic two-and-a-half years ago to become a community support officer, has been recommended for his part in turning around the fortunes of the Kingswood estate, which has seen crime fall since the launch of the safer community team three years ago.

Mr Tooley, who won the cup at the annual Northamptonshire Police awards in July, said: “We get a lot of recognition from the general public who say it is nice to see us around. They tell us things have improved since we started working on the estates and it’s nice to be recognised with an award.”

Since Mr Tooley started pounding the beat, successes include the closure of a drugs den in a derelict property and the removal of graffiti and litter.

The community support officers have also forged links with schools and have spoken to parents about their children’s behaviour.

Mr Tooley said: “Like anywhere, there are still problems in the area, such as juvenile nuisance, but this summer for the first time since they were introduced we have not implemented a dispersal order on the estate, which shows the improvements.

“From what people say on the Kingswood estate they believe we are working well and their quality of life has improved.”

A total of 45 officers went on the beat in the county four years ago when community support officers were launched nationally, and there are now 162.

Insp Gary Williams said: “Mark is an excellent officer who sets high standards and he deserved his recent award. He has established good working relations with other agencies, which he uses to good effect in tackling local issues.”

Mr Tooley will find out if he has won at an awards ceremony in London on November 23.