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A Wolverhampton Police Constable has been recognised for her commitment to supporting people who have been rough sleeping during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the last five years PC Abigail Chandler has been a key part of the city’s work supporting people who are homeless and now she has been shortlisted for one of the PCC’s Outstanding Citizen Awards.

Living in poverty is the single biggest cause of homelessness and so it is not surprising that with thousands of jobs lost during the national lockdowns the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the homelessness crisis.

Since the first national lockdown in March 2020 PC Chandler has worked closely with the council’s homeless team to ensure the safety and health of rough sleepers whilst in makeshift accommodation.

PC Chandler has been nominated for an Outstanding Citizens Award in the Police Officer/Staff Hero category.

Wolverhampton Council took on a hotel during the first lockdown to get people who were rough sleeping into accommodation.

PC Abigail Chandler worked diligently to keep everyone safe, sometimes in particularly challenging situations such as when drug dealers would turn up at the hotel to target vulnerable people; or taking rough sleepers to get a Covid test after becoming symptomatic.

She has worked consistently to build trust and confidence with the homeless community, a group of people whose experience of the police can often be one of mistrust and suspicion.

West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Waheed Saleem, said “I am thrilled that PC Abigail Chandler has been recognised for her work with supporting the homeless community in Wolverhampton.

PC Chandler commitment to positive engagement broke down barriers with a group of people that have a negative view of the police.

“PC Chandler is an example of the very best of West Midlands Police and is incredibly worthy of being shortlisted for an Outstanding Citizens Award”.

The Outstanding Citizens Awards take place this Friday.

The other categories up for award are: Outstanding Young Community Project, Outstanding Community Project, Outstanding Young Citizen, Outstanding Citizen, Key Worker Hero Award, Young Hero Award, Volunteer Hero Award, and Community Organisation Hero Award.

You can watch the awards here:

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