Topsham PCSO to leave his post in June

TOPSHAM S police community support officer is to leave his post in June. Percy Giles, who has worked in the town for three years, is moving to take up a PCSO position in Wonford. The news was announced at last week s PACT meeting. He will be replaced by R

TOPSHAM'S police community support officer is to leave his post in June.

Percy Giles, who has worked in the town for three years, is moving to take up a PCSO position in Wonford. The news was announced at last week's PACT meeting.

He will be replaced by Richard Shelton, who was named PCSO of the year for the Exeter area.

Scores of residents who have heard about Mr Giles' impending departure have praised him for the great work he has done in the town.


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Veronica Coe, who works in Topsham News, said he would be missed.

She said: "He worked well at Topsham Town Fair and we used to have a laugh. He was a good member of the community. Let's hope his successor fits in just as well!

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Wendy Thorne, also of Topsham News, said: "He will be sorely missed by all of us. I, particularly, shall miss him because he was a member of my skittles team and a good player.

"We will get the wooden spoon next year I expect."

Robert Silvester, a chef at Topsham Cafe, said: "He has played an important part in the community. It has been nice to see someone walking around the town taking an interest.

"He is really friendly and a happy guy."

PC Kevin Wetherell, beat manager for the town, said: "Percy has been in this role for three years.

"Obviously there was the very sad news of the death of his colleague, Mark Marshall, recently, who he used to work with very closely.

"I think (Mark's death) made Percy reappraise what he wants to do. He likes working with youngsters and wanted a role that involves working perhaps with more challenging young people.

"We do have a very able replacement who has worked in Beacon Heath for four years. Similar to Percy, he is very community-minded and is keen to get down here.

"There will be a very smooth transition. It is not happening overnight. Richard knows the area anyhow as he has come down here before when the need has arisen.

"He and Percy will be together while the transition takes place. It will be another two or three months yet before the final changeover takes place."

Mr Giles said the death of PCSO Mark Marshall, a close friend of his, had made him reassess his future.

"I felt like it had come to the end of an era. I really wanted to have a new challenge and work with young people as part of my job," he explained.

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