Police Constable Thomas Scott, who joined Northumbria Police via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme in 2020, was recognised at the force’s Southern Area Command awards for his outstanding work across South Tyneside.
PC Scott was awarded the ‘Problem Solver’ award at a ceremony in March, for his creative approach to tackling anti-social behaviour in his local community.
The awards recognised outstanding police work and individuals who have excelled in their roles to help the communities of Sunderland and South Tyneside.
PC Scott worked closely with youth groups and schools to build bridges with young people in South Tyneside, getting to know the pupils and staff and helping to change perceptions of police officers and strengthen public confidence in policing.
PC Scott delivered a range of assemblies in schools about issues such as knife crime, anti-social behaviour and drug misuse and has taken time to get to know the pupils and hear their views on a range of subjects.
PC Scott has earned widespread praise for his positive approach and was described as a ‘breath of fresh air’ by principal of Whitburn Church of England Academy, John Crowe, whose students have been enthused by the officer’s kind-hearted approach.
He said: “Tom – or PC Tom as the students call him – really cares what happens in our community, giving his time to our students and staff. 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.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “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.”
Inspector Denise Easdon, who leads the South Tyneside Neighbourhood Policing Team where PC Scott is stationed, 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.
“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 anti-social behaviour. So he set about negotiating the use of local sports facilities and got partners on board to positively engage with those who attend.”
(Story credit: Northumbria Police)