Tributes paid to Special Constable

By John HowardTHE family of a 48-year-old Special Constable who died in a farm accident have paid tribute to his life and service to the community at a moving ceremony.

By John Howard

THE family of a 48-year-old Special Constable who died in a farm accident have paid tribute to his life and service to the community at a moving ceremony.

Kevin Smith was working for Nayland-based Anglia Grain Services as a seed processor and driver when he was crushed to death between a forklift truck and a seed-cleaning vehicle at a farm in Little Bromley.

A plaque was unveiled and a short blessing service held at Hadleigh Police Station on Saturday in memory of Mr Smith, who was a Special Constable in the town before his death in November.

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Mr Smith, one of seven children, joined the Special Constabulary in 1996 when he was living with his first wife and their daughter, Gemma, now aged 16, in Stoke-by-Nayland and working for a fruit farm near Sudbury.

He changed his regular job during the next few years, moving to a building supplies company and then to Anglia Grain Services.

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Mr Smith's marriage also broke up and eventually he met a new partner, Dawn. They married and the new family, which included Dawn's daughter Aimee, now 12, settled in Elston Walk in Tiptree.

His wife Dawn, who attended Saturday's ceremony with Aimee and his mother Queenie, said: "We are very proud of Kevin, this is a really nice gesture.

"He lived for the force, he had a real sense of community and would go on duty whenever he could and was available. This has been a real tribute to him."

Mr Smith's sector officer David Dyble said the Special Constable often appeared to be almost disbelieving when confronted with the exploits of criminals because he could always see the good in everybody.

He added Mr Smith had touched a lot of people's lives, performing a duty that he loved, and had been a special Special Constable.

"Kevin did his work for the community and was really too nice to be a police officer. He believed in it so much. We all have different reasons for joining the specials, but Kevin was definitely in it for the community. He carried out foot patrols and came in for special events," said Mr Dyble.

"His death was a great shame, he was a young man. We hope it will comfort the family that a plaque to him will be here as log as the station is here."

He added Mr Smith had been offered the chance to transfer to another police station nearer to Tiptree, but had wanted to stay with the friends he had made in Hadleigh, even though it was a 20-mile trip from his new home.

The Health and Safety Executive is still investigating Mr Smith's death and an inquest date has yet to be set.

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