North Yorkshire Police is delighted with the achievement of PCSO Kath O’Reilly who has received a prestigious award for her outstanding community engagement in the Barrowcliff Estate in Scarborough.
The National PCSO Awards Ceremony, co-hosted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Unison, was staged on Thursday (12 January 2023).
The special event was held to mark the 20th anniversary of Police Community Support Officers being introduced under the Police Reform Act 2002.
North Yorkshire Police had its first intake of PCSOs the following year and they have proved to be a vital part of effective neighbourhood policing.
PCSO O’Reilly, who has just marked her third anniversary in the role and is seen above receiving her award from Deputy Chief Constable Claire Parmenter, the national lead for PCSOs, said:
“It means so much to be recognised for working in a very challenging part of Scarborough.
“I like to think of being a voice for people who are not normally heard and helping to make a real difference to their quality of life and safety.
“I have nothing but praise for my colleagues in the Scarborough Neighbourhood Policing Team who work so hard to build trusting relationships within our communities.
“I’m very proud to be part of the team and to work with such amazing people.”
PCSO O’Reilly thanked Sergeant Tom Wilkinson and Inspector Rebecca Lalor for nominating her in the Community Engagement category.
In their submission to the awards, they said:
“Kath has responsibility for one of the most deprived areas in the UK, the Barrowcliff Estate.
“The estate is renowned as being anti-police, almost impossible to reach and hostile towards uniform, yet Kath can be found day in day out walking the streets of the estate, engaging with the community and building positive relationships.
“She works tirelessly in the toughest beat in our policing command and has developed relationships with extremely difficult to reach communities, including class A addicts, domestic violence victims and vulnerable children exposed to extremely difficult and traumatic living conditions.
“In an area where police are seen as the enemy, Kath has embedded herself to the point where she is welcomed into almost every home on the estate. She is known by her first name by almost all of the children and has first-class working relationships with the headmaster and safeguarding lead in the estate’s primary school.
“It is without doubt that Kath is trusted by the community, as she constantly learns of ongoing issues disclosed to her that would otherwise go unheard, allowing her to link directly with Children and Family Services, domestic violence teams, as well as local council Community Safety Officers to ensure safeguarding risks are discussed and actioned.
“Kath is a reliable and hard-working PCSO, whose contribution to policing the Barrowcliff Estate is priceless.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker, Local Policing lead at North Yorkshire Police, said:
“This is a tremendous and richly deserved achievement by Kath.
“It’s clear how well regarded she is by her colleagues in the Scarborough Neighbourhood Policing Team and within the Barrowcliff Estate where she serves so diligently.
“Kath is an absolute credit to North Yorkshire Police, and we are very proud of the national recognition she has received.
“In the 20 years since the introduction of PCSOs, they have become the bedrock of local policing and we are blessed to have so many outstanding people in this role at North Yorkshire Police.”