'Outstanding' Plymouth PCSO praised for her 'kindness and caring nature'

Acting Chief Constable Jim Colwell and PCSO Debbie Hollinson will both tackle the abseil challenge to raise funds for charity which supports families affected by suicide
-Credit: (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)


A Plymouth PCSO who had championed the issue of young people's mental health following the tragic loss of her own daughter has been awarded Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) of the year by Devon and Cornwall Pollice for her outstanding work in supporting communities and fellow colleagues across Plymouth.

At an awards ceremony on Friday 14 June, PCSO Debbie Hollinson was awarded PCSO of the year. She was recognised for her positive attitude and natural ability to make people feel heard and safe.

Insp James Drake, who heads up the neighbourhood police team in the South of Plymouth, said: "Debbie is an outstanding PCSO. She has formed fantastic working relationships with local communities, engaging with them about local issues; and we are lucky to have her as part of our police team here in Plymouth.

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"Debbie works closely with victims on a daily basis. Being a victim of crime can be one of the hardest things a person can go through; Debbie does all she can to help and support every victim she works with. She has a very empathetic manner that makes people trust her and feel safe, which means they open up to her and share their stories, which can be a very difficult thing for a victim to feel able to do.

"Her care for her colleagues and everyone in the community, especially those who are vulnerable or in need of support, is truly inspiring. Debbie’s kindness and caring nature shines through in absolutely everything she does.

"“Debbie considers what she does as ‘just doing her job’ but it makes her stand out as a truly exceptional PCSO. Thank you for everything you do Debbie, you really are an asset to policing."

PCSO Debbie Hollinson, with her PCSO of the year award from Devon and Cornwall Police
PCSO Debbie Hollinson, with her PCSO of the year award from Devon and Cornwall Police -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

Debbie has worked for Devon & Cornwall Police as a PCSO in Plymouth City Centre for just over four years.

She has been an advocate for charities and organisations which aim to raise the profile of young people's mental health struggles since the tragic loss of her own teenage daughter in 2021. She took part in an 110-foot abseil to raise money in memory of her daughter Darcy - and even getting Chief Constable Jim Colwell to join her in the endeavour.

The money raised went towards charities which offered support to vital services, including Young Minds and suicide bereavement charity Pete's Dragon. Despite enduring the most painful of losses a parent can face, PCSO Hollinson has continued to work as part of the neighbourhood team in Plymouth City Centre, including throughout the entire Covid pandemic.

PCSO Hollinson said: "I am really grateful to have received the PCSO of the year award. It was completely unexpected, but it does mean a lot.

“This isn’t just a job for me, helping and keeping people safe is something I am passionate about. I’m proud to be able to serve our communities and make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

Members of the Plymouth city centre neighbourhood team as well as Devon and Cornwall Police's Acting Chief Constable Jim Colwell all took on the challenge to raise money for Petes Dragons, a suicide bereavement charity, by abseiling 110ft of the Meldon viaduct
Members of the Plymouth city centre neighbourhood team as well as Devon and Cornwall Police's Acting Chief Constable Jim Colwell all took on the challenge to raise money for Petes Dragons, a suicide bereavement charity, by abseiling 110ft of the Meldon viaduct -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

PCSOs are an important link between the police and communities. They work closely in neighbourhoods to tackle long and short-term crimes and antisocial behaviour affecting the public. PCSOs regularly engage with the public through community events, visits to local groups and schools, and patrols. Their essential work also aims to deter people from committing crime as a result of their visible presence in communities.

If you have been affected by crime, please visit victimcare-dc.org to access support services and information on your rights and how to navigate the criminal justice system. You can also call Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111 or Devon and Cornwall Police ’s Victim Care Unit on 01392 475900.

To find out more about the PCSOs and police officers in your local area, visit the ‘what’s happening in your area’ section of the Devon & Cornwall Police website. The team also hold regular public meetings where they discuss local issues and priorities – please consider coming along to one of these to meet the team and find out more about what they are doing in the area.

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