AN ex-police worker hailed as “the cornerstone of Neighbourhood Watch” has died.
Anne Ward won an MBE in 2010 for her services to East Durham, after spending 17 years as a community liaison officer with Durham Police.
Tributes from both family and police colleagues were paid to the 69-year-old, who passed away at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, on November 22.
Husband Michael, who was a policeman covering Peterlee for 28 years, said: “She was very well-liked and such a lovely person. I was very impressed by Anne’s hard work, creativity and ability to make things happen in the world of community safety.”
The couple have a son, Phillip, 37, also a Durham Police officer, and Anne has a son called Paul, 48, from a previous marriage. Michael, 64, of Neville Road, Peterlee, added: “She just wanted to help people.”
The grandmother-of-one and great-grandmother-of-one, who was also on the Crimestoppers board and a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, was diagnosed with lung cancer in September but the cause of death was kidney failure.
Durham Police Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks said: “Anne Ward made a positive impact from the moment she joined Durham Constabulary. She initially came for an eight-week contract and stayed for 17 years, postponing her retirement.
“Within three years she had received a Chief Constables’ Commendation for her community safety work which, in my view, was ahead of its time.
“Our communities have benefited from her creativity, industry and her high motivation. Anne Ward was a joy to work with and she will be greatly missed.”
Sergeant Tracey Whelan, of Peterlee Police, said: “Anne was a treasured and loyal colleague and friend who will be greatly missed.”
Inspector Dave Coxon, who first met Anne 20 years ago, added: “I was instantly struck with the passion that Anne had for her role.”