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Dog handler took his life because he did not want to give up the job he loved

A dedicated police officer who could no longer do the job he loved, He has to leave that role because he suffered a knee injury that caused him a great deal of pain, but underwent surgery he required a period of time off work for recovery.

However, during this time of his police dogs were reallocated which upset the police officer a great deal and when he returned he was told it would no longer be within the police dog unit.

Sadly the day before Police Constable Mick Atkinson aged 37 returned to work he took his own life because after spending 12 years a dog handler he could not face an office desk job.

Mr Atkinson, the father of a baby daughter and step-father to two boys, was found in the garage of his home in Oulton near Rothwell in Leeds on October 7 2018. He joined the police aged 19 and policing was his life, especially working with the dogs.

The injury that caused him to have 17-months absence was arthritis in one of his knees which was a result of a work-related accident, his other knee also became affected and he underwent a knee operation in April 2017 which was not successful and caused a lengthy period of time off work.

During this time his police dogs were reallocated which upset him a great deal before he took his own life he was not sleeping well and little things began annoying him.

His GP Dr R Halligan had an appointment with hin on October 4th in which the constable had told him that the thought of being stuck in an office for the next 23-year filled him with dread and made him tearful.

He added that in June 2017 the constable was left “feeling stressed and in a low mood” due to his dogs being taken from him.

North Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lisa Winward stated that “Mick was a distinguished officer and had been part of the North Yorkshire Police family for 17 years. “He started his service as PC 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.”

 

 

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Trevor Sherwood is the Editor of Police Hour. Trevor studied Crime and Investigation at Teesside Uni and has a background within policing.

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