PCSO’s extra mile reunites brother and sister from beyond the grave.
Wednesday 19th October 2016 @ 12:03 by Nigel P.
Ashton Denton & Audenshaw Droylsden Features Hyde News
John Walker's compassion and initiative during the course of his duty led to a man being released from the clutches of a manipulative couple who were taking the man's money.

John Walker’s compassion and initiative during the course of his duty, led to a man being released from the clutches of a manipulative couple who were taking the man’s money.

Estranged siblings – one of whom thought the other to be dead – have been reunited due to the extra service and initiative taken by a Tameside PCSO.

The story unfolded while during the course of his patrols in the Denton area PCSO John Walker, grew concerned about a thin, unkempt man he saw looking through bins for food.

After making some enquiries John discovered the man was living with a couple who were taking money from him.

PCSO Walker intervened and arranged for the man to be rehoused, he even managed to get a bank refund for some of the money the couple had taken from him.

Perhaps most life changing of  all, John even reunited the man with his long lost sister who believed the man had died many years before.

It is believed that the man who we are not naming for his own security had worked as an Engineer Officer in the The Merchant Navy travelling the world at sea.

A series of accidents led to unemployment and drink problems and this is when the man started to become victim to long line of unscrupulous people who invaded his flat and used it as drug den.

Confused and bewildered the shy, almost reclusive man was preyed upon by people he  mistakenly thought were his friends, they used him like a cash machine leaving him no money to pay the rent.

Eventually he was evicted due to the rent arrears and the very people that had put him into debt offered him a place on their settee, knowing while he had access to his to pension, he was still of value to them.

John revealed to the Reporter that it was while making enquiries about a wanted person in the area that he stumbled across the man,he said: ” I received intelligence from local people that there was a man living hand to mouth who was in the clutches of a male and female couple I will describe politely as undesirables.

“I followed up the intelligence and discovered the man living in intolerable conditions and with further enquiries learnt that he was surviving from food that was being dumped by shops in bins close to where he was staying.

“Furthermore the couple were using the man as a cash cow taking all his money from his monthly pension

As soon as I realised the man’s predicament I acted to get him in to emergency accommodation, he mentioned a sister that he had not seen for many years and with the help of colleagues I tracked her down.”

“I had a long list of possible people that might turn out to be his sister and was prepared to visit them all. Amazingly the first door I knocked on to enquire, turned out to be his sister, after her initial shock she was delighted to learn her brother was still alive or that I was not coming to confirm the news that he had died.”

Now as a reward for his dedication to service Police Community Support Officer John Walker, who is based at Hyde on the Tameside division has been rewarded with a STARs award, which stands for Safety, Teamwork, Action, Respect and Service.

In recognition of his extra efforts in relation to the service element of his duties John was chosen by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, as one of the first recipients of the award that recognises the exceptional work.

The man’s sister told the Reporter last night: “We are grateful beyond words to John my brother who I had not seen for four years is now making progress and is on the mend and I get to see him at least once every two days.

“We are slowly building him up and boosting his self esteem and confidence and with love and hard work I am sure we will get there .”

“It is like he has a new life chance and we both owe that to John with out whom this could not have happened.”

Coronation Street actress Jennie McAlpine,was on hand to give out the awards which were held at the Imperial War Museum in Trafford Park.

Also in attendance were The Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Edith Conn, the High Sheriff Lady Joy Smith, Tony Lloyd Police and Crime Commissioner and Interim Mayor and the Bishop of Manchester The Rt Revd David Walker .