Police serve festive dinner to pensioner crime victims

Sgt Colin Travi with Dee and Tony Paddy at the lunch. Picture: OX63963 Antony Moore

Sgt Colin Travi with Dee and Tony Paddy at the lunch. Picture: OX63963 Antony Moore Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

ELDERLY Kidlington residents who have been victims of crime enjoyed a Christmas lunch organised by the village’s neighbourhood police officers.

About 25 people attended the three-course lunch at Foresters Hall on New Years’ Eve, organised as part of Operation Pegasus.

The operation, launched in February 2012, aims to look after Kidlington’s vulnerable residents.

Sergeant Colin Travi said: “The lunch was really the pinnacle of what has been a good year.

“The neighbourhood police team paid for and organised it for people who have been victims of crime so they could socialise and feel part of the community.

“Operation Pegasus started out as an idea with myself and Superintendent Andy Boyd, because we wanted to make a difference to vulnerable people in the community.

“So I started making a list and went through old crime reports. I then paid a visit to victims of crime and said we would give them extra support.”

Sgt Travi said Pegasus, named after Pegasus Bridge in France which Allied Forces captured in the early hours of D-Day in 1944, would continue to grow.

He said: “Next year we hope to organise a day trip to Southwick House near Portsmouth where the D-day landing map is and also to Portsmouth.”

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Kidlington resident Tony Paddy, a former policeman of 31 years, said: “It was very much appreciated. It’s a very good scheme they have keeping in touch with local people, especially at a time when the police are very stretched.”

Mr Paddy, 80, who lives in Lock Crescent with wife Dee, said he became involved when police arrested a suspected intruder on their property.

Garden City resident Anthony Lyne, 73, who lives with his wife Julia, had his hub caps stolen from his car early last year.

The grandfather of nine said: “I was told to report it to the police and so I did.

“The police arrived at my house and talked us through what had happened and asked if we would be interested in becoming part of Operation Pegasus.

“It’s been very good and it’s like the old community policing when they used to be walking round the streets. It’s got that sort of feel to it.

“The meal was enjoyable and it was a complete surprise to get an invite.”

Maurice Billington, a Conservative on Cherwell District Council who attended, said: “It is a case of giving people who have been victims of crime confidence, as it is a frightening thing to happen.”

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