THERE were unprecedented scenes in Falmouth on Saturday as an estimated five to 6,000 people took to the town’s streets to walk the beat one more time in memory of PC Andy Hocking.

Thousands of people gathered on The Moor to pay their final tribute to the town’s community beat officer, who died suddenly last Sunday.

SEE the picture gallery here.

Led by his wife Sally and their two daughters Megan and Gracie, as well as the organiser of the memorial event Matt Barnicoat, thousands of people walked Andy’s beat in recognition of his service to the community.

Andy’s fellow police officers were applauded by the crowd, many of whom bearing Andy’s image, as the parade wound its way up Arwenack Street and Church Street.

As the parade went through the centre it was joined by more and more people, many of whom were very emotional. The crowd was so big that while the front filed into Events Square the back was still at Prince of Wales pier.

Once the majority of the crowd was in the square Falmouth Marine Band, surrounded by local police officers, gave a rousing rendition of Trewlawny.

In a brief but emotional address, Andy’s wife spoke to all those on the square thanking them for turning out to honour her husband.

The mood of the day was summed up by local photographer Hugh Hastings who had worked with Andy for 20 years and was carrying a portrait he took of him.

He said: “He was always a fantastic person. He represented Falmouth in such a superb way. Wonderful at his job. Always had a smile for everybody but he could do his job well at the same time. He kept control in the most wonderful way. And he’s an irreplaceable icon. We’ll all miss him.”

 

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In a statement on behalf of the family, Andy’s brother Stephen Hocking said: “The family of Andy: Sally his wife, daughters Megan and Grace, mother, Harry and brothers Stephen and Peter, would like to thank Insp Ian Thompson along with the Falmouth police family, stations throughout the counties of Devon and Cornwall and forces beyond for their kind words of support, regards and love. Also the officers who directly and indirectly responded as his sudden death became known. Thanks to the paramedics who within minutes attended Andy’s medical collapse.

Iconic, approachable, respectful, proud, smiley, gently, legend, hero, committed, friendly, gooner (Arsenal fan) and professional. But he was also a loving husband and dad. Colleagues and community members continue to pay tribute to an iconic officer of the law.

His response to this would have been I love, live and work in an iconic town with iconic people. Matt Barnicoat and the town centre manager Richard Gates came up with the inspirational idea of organising today’s memorial walk. In one way or another, everyone who attends the leisurely stroll, would have had their magical moments with Andy, so treasure them.

The commissioner of Devon and Cornwall Police, Tony Hogg, has stated the hope that Devon and Cornwall police can find a way to perpetuate the example set by Andy. That he was the embodiment of community poilcing at its very best.

The two condolence books will in time be of great comfort and the memorial funds are a fitting tribute to a proper ‘job’ man.

This is The West Country:

This is The West Country:

This is The West Country:

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This is The West Country:

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This is The West Country: