In the days of internet sensations and fifteen minutes of fame, real heroes are hard to come by and tragically the world has said goodbye to another one after beat bobby Andy Hocking collapsed and died at only 52 years of age.
The copper from Falmouth, Cornwall was so loved and respected in his local area that a massive 6,000 people turned up to mourn his passing and take part in a final ‘beat walk’ as a tribute.
The memorial walk lasted an hour and was a massive source of comfort for his family, with long-term wife Sally and his daughters Megan, 23, and Gracie, 19, leading the crowd who carried banners and photos of the policeman bearing messages such as ‘Thank You Andy.’
The family released a statement about Andy, the final walk and the police force and claimed:
The family of Andy – Sally his wife, daughters Megan and Grace, mother, Harry and brothers Stephen and Peter – would like to thank Inspector 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. [He was] iconic, approachable, respectful, proud, smiley, gentle, legend, hero, committed, friendly, Gooner – Arsenal fan – and professional.
But he was also a loving husband and dad. His response to this would have been I love, live and work in an iconic town with iconic people. In one way or another, everyone who attends this leisurely stroll, would have had their magical moments with Andy, so treasure them.
The decorated officer won numerous individual awards and praise for his work, including a special bravery award and in 2005, managed to get a community hero award from Downing Street for going above and beyond the call of duty.
All we can say is Thanks Andy.