A police community support officer who ‘loved’ working in Bewbush will leave the neighbourhood after six years’ service.
PCSO Shelley Brown, 28, will finish working in Bewbush on Saturday (May 17).
She was posted to Bewbush in 2008 and said the community would benefit from someone with fresh ideas.
She said: “I loved every minute of working there.
“I’m not leaving because I don’t like it any more and I’m not interested in them.
“I want to leave because I want more for them and want to thank them for their support and love over the last six years.”
She added: “When you’ve done somewhere for six years you can become stale in your ideas and innovation.
“Fresh ideas and a bit of change up there won’t do it any harm.”
PCSOs are uniformed officers who deal with anti-social behaviour in a community.
Shelley said the neighbourhood had ‘completely changed’ while she worked there.
“It had such a bad reputation.
“I’m walking out of an area seeing it completely changed, it’s no longer a no go zone.
“The crime statistics dropped year on year and the parade became a pleasant place to go.”
She added: “I’m not going to say it’s all sorted but compared to the area when I joined it’s completely different.
“I want them to keep ploughing everything they can there to make the area as best as can be.”
Shelley said her ‘ultimate’ highlight was engaging with residents.
“Initially it was quite hard to engage with Bewbush.
“A lot of the residents were anti-police.”
Shelley said she would miss working with her crew partner, Tracey Collyer, 48.
Tracey was Shelley’s partner throughout her posting in Bewbush.
The pair’s colleagues called them Cagney and Lacey, the main characters in a popular police television series.
Shelley said: “She’s quite possibly one of my best friends and I’m going to miss her massively.
“It was a hard decision taking to leave because we’ve that friendship and we are both so in love with the area.”
She added: “I cannot even call it a job, it’s just been fun.”
Shelley will start working at Gatwick Airport on May 27.
She said: “It’s going to be a new challenge.”
Shelley said her experience working with Bewbush’s ‘diverse community’ will help her in her new posting.
She was ‘really happy’ in her role and had no plans to become a regular officer.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said the force had not yet decided on Shelley’s replacement.