Police officer pays tribute to PC Mick Atkinson on the first anniversary of his death

PC Mick Atkinson
PC Mick Atkinson

A North Yorkshire Police Sergeant has paid tribute to PC Mick Atkinson, a police dog handler who began his career in Scarborough, to mark one year since he died.

Mr Atkinson, 37, from Woodlesford in Leeds tragically took his own life at his home in Oulton near Rothwell on October 7, 2018.

He worked as a dog handler in the Dog Support Unit with North Yorkshire Police for more than 10 years before he began to suffer from arthritis in one of his knees which caused a prolonged absence from work.

Mick, known as Aky, planned to go back in an office-based role, a prospect he said he was dreading after facing front line action for more than a decade with his beloved dogs, but he was found dead the day before he was due to return.

Today, Sgt Paul Cording at North Yorkshire Police said: "Can’t believe it’s a year since we lost our friend & colleague PC Mick ‘Aky’ Atkinson.

"My thoughts are with Kellie, Bev, Mo, @lynseyaky & all Mick’s family, friends & colleagues #1066 #ItsOkNotToBeOk #MentalHealthMatters"

North Yorkshire Police Federation have also posted a tribute on Facebook: "A year ago today we lost one of our own. Our colleague, our friend and to use his own words 'a true legend' (he had a good sense of humour as we all know).

"So many of you have done amazing work and fund raising around the country to raise the awareness of mental health in his name.

"This is his legacy, Aky will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace big lad #1066"

Since his death his colleague and best friend PC Pierre Olesqui organised various charity events to remember Mr Atkinson and to raise money and awareness around mental health.

The pair met when they were both working at Scarborough police station in 2001 and had remained close friends ever since.

A 106.6 mile charity cycle ride, dubbed the Tour de Aky, raised £25,000 and shared between MIND and Leeds Rhinos Foundation.

It took place on Friday, June 14, starting at Scarborough police station and finished at Headingley Stadium.

After his death, North Yorkshire Chief Constable Lisa Winward, paid tribute to PC Mick Atkinson.

She said: “Mick was a distinguished officer and had been part of the North Yorkshire Police family for 17 years.

"He started his service as Police Constable in Scarborough and then moved into the Dog Support Unit and became a handler. He was a well-liked and much respected member of the team and of our wider policing family and his loss will be felt profoundly.

“His death has come as a great shock to all of us and our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this extremely difficult time.”