Dedicated Wigan support officer awarded police's PCSO of the Year award

A Police Community Support Officer has been awarded a prestigious Chief Constable Award thanks to her efforts in tackling bicycle thefts in Wigan while facing family tragedies at home.
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Mum of two Michelle Ashurst, who has been with GMP for 16 years, was awarded PCSO of The Year at the Chief Constable's Annual Awards ceremony, held at the Etihad Stadium.

Over the last few months, in response to a spike in bicycle thefts, PCSO Ashurst secured £3,000 through funding bids to set up pop-up bike registries and security tagging events in the town centre in order to reduce crime and demand.

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PCSO Michelle Ashurst with GMP chief constable Stephen WatsonPCSO Michelle Ashurst with GMP chief constable Stephen Watson
PCSO Michelle Ashurst with GMP chief constable Stephen Watson
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She has also worked closely with both Wigan Council and BikeRegister to tackle the issue.

Much of the work was taken on her own initiative with little direction, whilst also undertaking her roles as a single mum and caring for her mother with stage 4 cancer and father with complex care needs.

Sadly, her mother recently passed away.

Despite this, the force says Michelle has continued to excel in her role, including conducting work delivering inputs around online fraud and building intelligence on cannabis cultivation in the area.

She said: “I am elated to have won this award for doing the job I absolutely love. I have several highlights in my career, as it has been varied and rewarding, but winning this award is certainly up there at the top.

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“I endeavour to be a strong positive role model, especially to my two little boys. I always tell them they can be anything they want to be in life and can achieve anything they put their mind to.

“I am very passionate about my job and making Wigan a safe place for people to live, work and visit.

“I am proud of the work I have done to win the PCSO of the Year award, which highlights the vital role of PCSOs within the neighbourhood and what they do to help the community and get results.

“I am lucky to work alongside the most amazing, supportive and hard-working colleagues who go above and beyond each day.

“We work well together as a team, and each one of us is integral in ensuring that we achieve what we need to.”