'Irreplaceable' Ginny retires from Suffolk police after 17 years

Ginny Shoesmith is retiring from Suffolk police after 17 years service 

Ginny Shoesmith is retiring from Suffolk police after 17 years service - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A woman who won the Stars of Suffolk Police Person of the Year, received a British Empire Medal and served as a trusted and respected PCSO for a decade, is finally retiring.

Virginia Shoesmith — known to all as Ginny — originally joined the intelligence unit at Suffolk police, where she worked for three years before taking interest in the PCSO role.

Despite worrying her age would hold her back, she was successful on the second application and has since become an integral part of the relationship between police and Ipswich communities.

Ginny has received several awards during her career

Ginny has received several awards during her career, such as Police Person of the Year at Stars of Suffolk 2017 and a British Empire Medal in 2018 - Credit: Archant

Ginny at Suffolk Pride in Ipswich

Ginny at Suffolk Pride in Ipswich - Credit: Suffolk police

"I really found my niche," she recalled. "I loved every minute of it, being out and about in the community and really enjoyed just talking to people.

"One of the main requirements of the role is communication and you need to be able to speak to absolutely anybody — I like to think I was always a friendly face people could trust and found approachable, perhaps because of my age or as a woman.

"It doesn't matter how old you are though, you never stop learning."

Ginny with her husband and children after winning Police Person of the Year at the Stars of Suffolk awards in 2017

Ginny with her husband and children after winning Police Person of the Year at the Stars of Suffolk awards in 2017 - Credit: Suffolk police

In 2017 Ginny was honoured with a Stars of Suffolk award, then in 2018 she was selected for the Queen's New Year's Honours as the recipient of a British Empire Medal services to policing and the community in Ipswich.

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In recent years she took on the role of Diverse Communities Co-ordinator and has spent several months training her replacement Stella Frangleton.

The pandemic was a catalyst for her decision to finally step down as it pushed her work into the digital realm and took away the in-person contact she enjoyed most.

Inspector Rebecca Kidd-Stanton, Ginny's manager, said the former PCSO was "modest", "understated" and totally "irreplaceable".

"I don't think she realises what she's achieved during her career," she said. "She has a list of contacts that go right across all communities so when we need to get messages out she knows who to go to.

"She has been integral to our response throughout the Covid pandemic and there will be a significant gap when she moves on."

Ginny has handed the reins over to her successor Stella Frangleton

Ginny has handed the reins over to her successor Stella Frangleton - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Sadly, due to pandemic restrictions Ginny is unable to see everyone she'd like to bid farewell.

If you'd like to send in your memories or well wishes, please contact Insp Kidd Stanton at: Rebecca.Kidd-Stanton@suffolk.police.uk

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