'PC Tom' praised for work 'breaking down barriers' with young people to curb antisocial behaviour and tackle topics of knife crime and drugs misus

A ‘dynamic PC’ has been praised for helping to build bridges with young people as a creative way of curbing antisocial behaviour.

Thursday, 14th April 2022, 12:31 pm
PC Tom Scott (left) with Chief Inspector Neil Hall at the Southern Area Command Awards.
PC Tom Scott (left) with Chief Inspector Neil Hall at the Southern Area Command Awards.

PC Tom Scott has been described as a “breath of fresh air” by one local head teacher since joining the neighbourhood policing team in South Tyneside back in November 2020.

Since then the 23-year-old has worked closely with various youth groups and schools, including Whitburn Church of England Academy, to build up a strong rapport with students and staff.

Northumbria Police said PC Scott has taken time to get to know the pupils and hear their views on a range of subjects, while also helping to change perceptions about police officers and what they represent.

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He has also delivered a range of assemblies in schools about issues including antisocial behaviour, knife crime and drug misuse.

In recognition of his ‘infectious energy and enthusiasm’, PC Scott won the ‘Problem Solver’ award at the Northumbria Police Southern Area Command Awards – and has earned widespread praise for his positive approach.

Inspector Denise Easdon, who leads the team, said: “PC Scott is creative, dynamic and bursts with enthusiasm. I regularly receive feedback about how impressed people have been with him.

“His style, methods of engagement and policing – especially around breaking down barriers with local young people – has been really impactful.”

She added: “The close working relationship he has forged with schools and the work he has put into helping young people to make better choices is now being replicated in the neighbouring areas.

“Through the engagement work that PC Scott did, he established that youth provision was one issue that contributed to antisocial behaviour. So he set about negotiating the use of local sports facilities and got partners on board to positively engage with those who attend.”

John Crowe, principal of Whitburn Church of England Academy, said students have been enthused by the officer’s kind-hearted approach.

“Tom – or PC Tom as the students call him – really cares what happens in our community, giving his time to our students and staff,” he said.

“His approachability and friendly disposition allows trust to be built with young people and ensures that the relationships between police and young people are strengthened.

“Tom has been a breath of fresh air and his ability to relate to young people while maintaining authority and respect are absolute qualities which ensure he knows our students very well.

“He has been instrumental in ensuring are children are safe in our community, and has delivered assemblies to all year groups about a range of subjects.

“His dedication shone through when he recently came to our careers fayre while being on annual leave. He didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to talk to our Year 11s about career opportunities in the police.

“I am pleased that Tom has won this award, it’s very much deserved and I wholeheartedly agree that he has been doing a terrific job since he started.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, added: “Engaging with and understanding young people in order to prevent crime is so important. Northumbria Police really gets this and PC Scott is a fine example of how this can work and benefit the local community.

“I love the drive and determination he has shown and it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed . We have to work with kids to tackle the root causes that draw them into trouble or make them vulnerable to becoming victims themselves.

“Whatever it is – poverty or lack of opportunities – we have to address these things if we are going to cut crime down and help young people take the right path in life.”

Held at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on March 30, the awards recognised outstanding police work and individuals who have excelled in their roles to help the communities of Sunderland and South Tyneside.