Caterham Mirror By Brian Haran firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, February 07, 2013
"BUS driver, follow that van".
It may be a line you expect to hear in a film – but it was all in a day's work for Tandridge's longest-serving police community support officer
10 year PCSO
Nick Stone was the pioneer in the district 10 years ago when the first crop of PCSOs were recruited.
A decade on, the 47-year-old father-of-one is a familiar face on his beat around Caterham Valley.
The incident involving the bus four years ago was one of his more hair-raising assignments – and resulted in him receiving a police commendation.
He was on routine foot patrol with a colleague in Croydon Road, Caterham, when he got a radio call about two suspected drug dealers who had been seen loading goods into a nearby van.
Mr Stone said: "We flagged down a passing 407 bus as the suspects' van drove off.
"I radioed in with the van's whereabouts as the bus driver followed the van up steep Succombs Hill in Warlingham.
"Soon afterwards a police response car overtook us and intercepted the van at the top of the hill."
Drugs with a street value of £5,000 were subsequently recovered and two men were jailed.
A former nurse at Kingston Hospital, Mr Stone said his early days as the first PCSO in the district involved him finding his feet.
He recalled: "I don't think they knew what to do with me at first. It was a case of things like washing the police cars, and then what do I do next?"
Nowadays he is a highly visible presence patrolling his beat.
As well as giving talks to schools, he is often seen at places like Caterham railway station and the town's Church Walk shopping centre, reassuring the public and making sure would-be shoplifters know that he is around.
He said: "We don't get a lot of high-profile crime in Caterham
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