The boy, who suffered life-changing injuries following a dog attack earlier this year, attended the Bentilee Christmas lights switch-on ceremony alongside mascots from Stoke City Football Club and the trainers from the Ten Count Community Gym that has just moved into Bentilee.
The event was organised by a partnership of local organisations, including the Bentilee Local Council and Community Development Team, local councillors, the Fire Service, Brookhouse and Ubberley Village Forum, Ten Count Boxing, Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre and all the local schools within the ward – as well as Staffordshire Police.
PC Cottrell and her colleagues were called out to a property in Stoke-on-Trent this summer, following reports that a dog had attacked the 12-year-old boy. PC Cottrell was first on the scene and supported the boy and his family as he was transported to the local hospital, and has since been leading the investigation.
PC Cottrell joined Staffordshire Police last year via the Police Now programme and will be working over the Christmas period – including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day – to keep her local community safe, in her role as a Neighbourhood Police Officer in Longton.
She said: “I have been doing everything I can to support the boy and his family through this difficult time. I know it’s only a small gesture but I hope that by inviting him along to officially turn on the town’s Christmas lights this year we have been able to bring some festive cheer to him and his family.
“Neighbourhood policing is about keeping the communities safe, preventing crime and supporting victims through some of the most difficult times in their lives. The work doesn’t stop over the holidays, and myself and my colleagues across Staffordshire Police will be working hard to keep you all safe this festive season.
“I have also been working at some of the local Christmas markets this year, making sure I am visible to the local community so they can voice any concerns, and to act as a visual deterrent for any potential criminal activity.
“I want to wish everyone who celebrates the season a safe and merry Christmas!”