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The Elsie Ashley Award presented to PCSO Lauren Drew - Local Policing North

The Award

Mrs Elsie Ashley-Stretton, OBE, JP, was a long-standing member of the Staffordshire Police Authority and she has been a lifelong supporter of wildlife and environment issues. Mrs Ashley-Stretton presented her award to Staffordshire Police for it to become one of the formal annual awards.

The Chief Constable chooses the recipient from nominations across the force and it is awarded to the member of Staffordshire Police whom he believes has done the most to preserve or promote wildlife or the environment within Staffordshire during the previous 12 months.

Elsie Ashley Award - PCSO Lauren DrewCitation

Whilst carrying out her day-to-day role as a PCSO at Leek, Lauren undertook the project to develop and promote a new scheme called Farmwatch in the Moorlands, due to its large farming community. She has actively sought ways to promote and engage the scheme with the farming community and provide information to them regarding relevant crime and matters which would be of interest to them.

Historically, we have seen that engagement has been difficult. Lauren has made great use of the Smart Alert system, with a section dedicated to Farmwatch. She has sought funding for Farmwatch signs and has visited numerous farms within the area to promote its value and to help the farming community to better protect themselves from becoming victims of crime.

Recently, Lauren has, together with the force, made use of Facebook to engage with the farming community. Staffordshire Farmwatch on Facebook gained a following of 310 followers after only three weeks and currently has over 500 likes. Lauren has spent a great deal of time signing up hundreds of local farms to the scheme by personal visits and spending time at farming shows and farm sales. She has also better integrated the Crime Prevention Panel in to adopting and entering in to the scheme.

The scheme continues to go from strength to strength, which is down to Lauren's drive and determination. Within the local community the scheme has been well received and Lauren and her efforts are receiving fantastic feedback.

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