THERE were unprecedented scenes in Falmouth today 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.
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.”
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.