News article

Original PCSOs retire after colourful career

Perranporth PCSOS.jpg

End of an era for Perranporth PCSOs

It will be the end of an era next month when two of Devon & Cornwall Police’s original PCSOs retire.

PCSO Mick Ginnelly, who has the first PCSO shoulder number 30000, and his colleague Al Flowerday joined the Force in 2003. They already knew each other - when Mick was front-of-house manager at Hall for Cornwall Al, who had been pensioned off from London Fire Service, was a traffic warden in Truro and Mick used to invite him in out of the cold for a cup of coffee.

After four years based at Truro Police Station, the pair transferred to Perranporth where they are well-embedded into the local community. Mick was allocated St Agnes Parish and Al looks after the Perranporth area although they cover each other’s patch if the need arises.

Mick, aged 66, said: “6 January 2003 started a new chapter in my working life following my retirement from the Royal Navy. When I saw the advertisement for PCSOs I thought it would be a good job for me, plenty of fresh air and going back to a service style environment.  We were a bit of an anomaly to the public as we weren’t police officers but wore a similar uniform. 

“The highlights of my time as a PCSO have been meeting some lovely people - even the majority of the bad guys were friendly. It has been a good job and great fun.”

Whilst at Truro Mick received a commendation for his part in stopping a robbery at Spiers Jewellers and the Judge even awarded him £500 for his good work.  He physically grabbed a hammer from one of the robbers and smashed the windows of the get-away car.

He also achieved worldwide media coverage when he was filmed driving a mobility scooter along the main road from Newquay to Perranporth. Mick said: “An 87-year-old lady with dementia was on the scooter, with her husband walking alongside her, when she took off at speed. She was intercepted by an armed response vehicle on the way to Newquay – Al and I met them and reunited the distressed, but relieved, elderly couple. The problem was how to get the scooter back to Perranporth.”

Mick got on board and drove the seven miles back to Perranporth at five miles an hour. He said: “Cars were tooting and motorists laughing at me - Al took a photo and put it on social media. I ended up on the BBC World News alongside reports on President Obama and on Britain Does the Funniest Things and was contacted by people from all over the world about it.”

Al has also had his adventures. Recalling one incident 68-year-old Al said: “Together with a PC, we were chasing a couple who had stolen a car but were making off on foot. They climbed a wall to try and escape and the PC followed but he ended up dislocating his shoulder. I used the gate and was able to apprehend the individuals!!

“The public have made the job, it has been a good 15 years, there are some really nice people out there. We never refused an offer of a cup of tea – people chat and give us lots of useful information!”

Sgt Marc Sayers said: “As Mick and Al’s line manager for nearly four years it has been a pleasure to supervise them. The knowledge they have of their area and how well recognised they are will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to replace. I wish them well and a long and healthy retirement.”

It’s not the end of the police era for the Flowerday family. Mick’s son, Stuart and daughter-in-law Sarah are both PCs at Camborne Police Station.

Pictured: Al, left, and Mick sporting the first ever shoulder number issues to PCSOs 30000.


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