Farewell to ‘the public face’ of Sidmouth police

Station enquiry officer made redundant after 17 years service.

POLICE cuts hit Sidmouth this week as officers bade a fond farewell to ‘the public face’ of the town’s neighbourhood team.

Valued Station Enquiry Officer Debbie Hollamby, 45, took voluntary redundancy and left the post she held for 17 years. She first joined the police as a special constable at the age of 19.

Colleagues paid tribute to an honest, honourable, trustworthy and compassionate lady and told the Herald: “Debbie was the real commander in chief at Sidmouth. She always went the extra mile.”

The front desk at the town’s Temple Street police base shut permanently on Wednesday (April 28) as Debbie departed.

“She is going to be a huge loss, personally and professionally,” said long-term colleague and friend Sergeant Andy Turner.

“Debbie will be missed by everyone who works here. We’re all very sad to see such a wonderful person leave in these circumstances. Her new employer really has obtained a precious asset.”

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Newton Poppleford resident Debbie’s hard work in Sidmouth FolkWeek, sterling service during the Napoli saga, and always having time for people in need will never be forgotten, said PS Turner.

Countless responsibilities have seen Debbie in control of more than a dozen lethal weapons and seized property relating to crimes ranging from car theft to murder.

The mum-of-one with a soft spot for animals has been handed injured seagulls, owls and even an iguana by members of the public.

Her reputation spans across the country and even the globe. She has received best wishes from Metropolitan, Northamptonshire and even Canadian police officers.

“The people who will miss Debbie the most are the ones who won’t realise it until she’s gone,” said PS Turner.

“The station has run smoothly for years because of her steady hand at the wheel.

“If local knowledge was needed, between the two of us we would know the answer.”

The former Sergeant who employed Debbie, Gerry Moore, said: “History has proven this to be a wise decision.”