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 We don’t just deal with crime…


​​Last night, our control room received a call from a worried member of the public reporting a family who were struggling in the current climate and had no food to eat.

After attending the family’s home and finding the cupboards were completely bare, PCSO Ashleighe Charlton and PC Dan Lake, from Darlington Neighbourhood Team, took it upon themselves to organise help for the family.

They spoke to Al Forno, in Skinnergate, who provided pizza and chips for the whole family free of charge, and PCSO Charlton bought some milk, bread and cereal for breakfast the following morning.

The pair are now organising for the family to receive help from a local foodbank, and have offered their support to the family whenever they are struggling.

PCSO Charlton said: “We have been incredibly lucky that throughout this pandemic we have been able to continue working and receive a steady income, so it was heart-breaking to see a family struggling so much that they couldn’t put food on the table.

“Al Forno were absolutely brilliant. They have been offering free pizzas for children during the half term, so they gave us three large pizzas and chips no questions asked – they were just happy to help someone in need.”

Temporary Chief Inspector Chris Knox added: “Policing is so much more than just dealing with criminals, as these two officers have shown.

“In the current climate when people are struggling it is heart-warming to see the local community pulling together to help those who are in need.

“If you are struggling, please do not suffer in silence – speak out and tell someone, whether that is a friend, family member or a colleague. There are people who can, and will help you.”