She's a top cop...

PORTISHEAD Police Com-munity Support Officer Debbie Charman is the best in the west - and that's official. Mum-of-three Debbie

PORTISHEAD Police Com-munity Support Officer Debbie Charman is the best in the west - and that's official.Mum-of-three Debbie, who has worked as a PCSO in the town for three years, was named not only as North Somerset's district's top PCSO but also the best in Avon and Somerset in a prestigious awards ceremony at police headquarters.Debbie, who lives in the town and used to be an enquiry clerk at the town's police station, was picked as the top of the cops after organising a number of successful initiatives in the town including a Text A Bully project and launching a Drugline scheme at Gordano School.She has also pioneered Operation Jackal in Portishead in a bid to crackdown on bogus callers and rogue traders targeting the elderly.Other successful projects have included a Halloween Street Code to tackle antisocial behaviour, launching the Portishead and Gordano Valley Pub Watch scheme, working with schoolchildren on the dangers of internet safety and running holiday activity schemes.As well as her award she was presented with £500 to spend within the local community.Debbie said: "I am over the moon to win - it is fabulous to be heralded as the best PCSO in Avon and Somerset. I have really enjoyed driving forward these initiatives and working with some fantastic people."North Somerset Police Sector Inspector Steve Date said he was delighted at Debbie's success.Insp Date said: "Debbie truly deserves this recognition."She's achieved an incredible amount and has totally immersed herself in the Portishead community. She's used her warmth and friendliness to bridge gaps with all sections of the community, young and old, winning their trust and confidence by listening, and, most importantly, getting things done for them."Debbie will now go forward to the national finals to find the best PCSO in the country. The ceremony is due to be held in London later this year....AND LINDA'S AN OUTSTANDING ONECLEVEDON Police Community Support Officer Linda Richards was also celebrating after receiving a special award for her work.Linda, part of the Clevedon Neighbourhood Team, received the award for Outstanding Contribution following three years' service.Clevedon Police Sergeant Pete Abrams said: "Linda epitomises what a PCSO should strive to be - she is completely devoted to keeping her communities safe. Linda has been a driving force behind getting police working more closely with schools throughout the force and, in her areas, has established a Youth Watch in Clevedon and Churchill Comprehen-sive Schools and hold regular 'beat surgeries' there."She has also sourced funding for a mobile wheels park which regularly attracts up to 50 young people at a time."She has excellent links with other agencies as well as communities themselves and has organised regular 'clean up' events to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour."Her work with elderly and vulnerable people to raise awareness of bogus callers led to the 'Trickster' performance at Clevedon Community Centre."On top of all that, she's set up Pub Watch schemes in Clevedon, Congresbury and Yatton and is currently working to revive the Store Net radio system in Clevedon to reduce shoplifting."She's active in all areas of the community and tackles any issue she's faced with. She's a real asset to our team." North Somerset currently has 34 Police Community Support Officers working as part of newly formed Neigh-bourhood Teams, which are made up of police beat managers, PCSOs, and volunteer Special Constables. The new teams are part of the force's roll-out of Safer, Stronger Neighbour-hoods, a new approach to reducing crime and the fear of crime aimed at finding local solutions to local problems.These teams work closely with council services, key local agencies, volunteers such as Neighbour-hood Watches, and the community itself to identify the issues that matter most to areas and the best solutions.The force currently has a total of 350 PCSOs, but is looking to increase that figure to 432 by the end of April 2008.

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