Ottery’s PCSO Maria Clapp to leave
- Credit: Archant
Ottery’s ‘committed and dedicated’ PCSO will walk her last patrol next month after nearly 15 years of service to the town.
Maria Clapp, who has been the face of Ottery policing since 2005, has decide to step down from the role.
Maria became one of Devon and Cornwall’s first PCSOs in 2003. She was selected from 1,100 applicants for the job after 23 years as a dental nurse.
Maria told the Herald: “Being 55, now is a good opportunity to try a different avenue. I want a bit more time for myself.
“It was an honour to get the job. Everything I do is to the best of my ability.
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“Being a PCSO is about being out and about and making people feel a little easier and happier is was someone around. Every PCSO does their job differently because each town is different.”
The keen golfer has run ‘Have Your Say’ surgeries, cycling safety at the primary school, community speed watch schemes and helped with the town’s Christmas tree festival. In a message to residents, she said: “Thank-you for making me so welcome for the last 12 years working in Ottery. I have got to know so many nice people. I will come back, but I am on the next step in my ladder of life.”
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Ottery representatives said Maria will be a great loss to the town and hope she will be replaced, despite concerns about cuts to the area’s PCSO numbers.
Mayor Glyn Dobson said: “It will be a great loss to the town. She has so much respect, not just from the councillors, but people in the town and she is going to be missed. She’s very dedicated and goes above and beyond – she sets herself high standards and its hard work to keep it going.
“I hope she is going to be replaced and I hope it is with someone who is as good as Maria.”
County councillor Claire Wright added: “I have worked with her for around eight years and she is unfailingly committed, dedicated and determined to help people.
“Our jobs dovetail and I refer several issues to her, which she always deals with promptly and professionally.”
Maria’s last day as a PCSO is Friday, August 4.