THE bravery and quick-thinking under pressure of two Police Community Support Officers has been recognised by West Yorkshire Police.

PCSOs Joanne Barrett and Lucy Broadbent have both received a District Chief Superintendent Commendation for their work in Ilkley.

Joanne has been a PCSO for 15 years, covering Ilkley for the past six years. She was nominated for the award by PC Eddie Irving after she detained an aggressive shoplifter in Ilkley single-handed.

He said: “This female was trying to get away from Joanne. Joanne kept hold of the female whilst she waited over 20 minutes for assistance to arrive. “During that time Joanne was assaulted by the female. At one point they both went to the floor. But Joanne managed to keep hold and stop her from escaping. Joanne could easily have been seriously assaulted. Joanne continued to keep hold of the female who was actively trying to escape. “Joanne showed a good use of using tactical skills to stop the female breaking free and escaping.

“Joanne’s dedicated and determination, going above any beyond stopped the female from escaping. I feel that Joanne went above and beyond what is expected of her as a PCSO. However this is not unusual for Joanne.

“Jo is also a tutor PCSO and has tutored a number of people. Her hard work in doing this often difficult role also shows Jo’s enthusiasm and dedication in her role.”

Lucy was tutored by Joanne and has worked in the Ilkley area as a PCSO for a year. On Thursday, October 31, at around 8.30am Lucy was working an early shift and was alone on foot patrol when she was alerted to a house fire on Cow Pasture Road, Ilkley. As the first officer on the scene she quickly assessed the situation and requested the assistance of further units and the fire service.

In his nomination of Lucy, Inspector Khalid Khan said: “Despite hearing about what could be a devastating and upsetting scenario, Lucy has remained calm and professional and seeing that the fire was worsening recruited one of the neighbours to help her alert people in neighbouring properties and evacuate them.

“Singlehandedly, Lucy managed what could potentially have been a crime scene, ensured the safety of residents and supported distressed witnesses for 20 minutes until other emergency services arrived. Her actions, professionalism and scene management were exemplary. A scene such as this where a fire is well alight and the potential for people trapped inside to perish is most upsetting and can be difficult even for officers and staff with much longer service. However Lucy did not let emotion detract her from the job at hand.”

Three PCSOs cover Ilkley working shifts from 7am to midnight dealing with various issues and often working alone.