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PCSO Angie Smith

The PCSO who supported young people during a highly sensitive and high-profile court case, earning their trust and respect for her sensitive approach.

In her role as a Police Community Support Officer, Angie Smith’s approach is the epitome of what many people think of as “old-fashioned policing” – in the very best way.  Having worked in Northallerton for many years, Angie knows her patch – and just about everybody in it.  When there’s an incident, she often knows exactly who to look for, and where they’ll be.  Her knowledge of her area and her understanding and compassion for the people she works with are unrivalled.

In the course of her career Angie has often gone the extra mile to support people in need of help – including one young woman who she describes as her “adopted daughter”, due to the close bond she has forged over many years.

However, her nomination for this award is for the work she did at a local school where two very high profile court cases – one for conspiracy to murder, and one  a conviction for inciting child sexual abuse – had left the local community feeling shocked and vulnerable.  As the PCSO attached to the school, Angie made sure she was a highly visible presence to offer the staff and students  reassurance.

Her combination of common-sense, knowledge and professionalism meant she became a confidante to many in the school.  As she describes it, “Sometimes being a PCSO means being a mam and a nanna.  The police aren’t the only people who can help in these situations – a lot of my role was to make sure I signposted people to all the support available from other agencies – but at the end of the day, people are drawn to the uniform.  I’m not a psychologist or a medical person, but I have a real affinity with my community and a real desire to help people.  I aim to give people the reassurance and practical advice they need to recover from the difficult circumstances that life can throw at you.”

A person with a strong sense of loyalty, Angie is keen to share the recognition she receives with her colleagues.  She says, “I don’t believe you can achieve things single-handed.  Without the help of colleagues in the police and other agencies I simply wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done.  I feel very emotional and humble to have been nominated for an award.”