‘Bubbly officer’ was loved by colleagues

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THE young policewoman who lost her life in Londonderry was a “bubbly” personality who loved the community she served, her senior officer has said.

There were widespread tributes to Constable Philippa Reynolds from across Northern Ireland yesterday after she lost her life in a fatal car accident in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin, who was Ms Reynolds’ commander, described her as a “beautiful, friendly, bubbly officer, one of the most enthusiastic officers in the prime of her life”.

She was “someone who wanted to be a police officer, who had been a teacher and wanted to change profession,” he said. “Her colleagues are devastated, as I am as her commander, as we all are as a police service. My sincerest condolences go out to the Reynolds family at this tragic time.”

Mr Cargin said the policewoman was one of the most enthusiastic people he had worked with. She was a young 27-year-old officer, just two years into service “doing what she loved to do – and that was serving the community to the best of her ability,” he said.

Continuing his tributes, he said Const Reynolds had “a beautiful personality”.

And he added: “She was just loved by her colleagues and she turned that love to the community she served.”

Owls Hockey Club posted their tribute to the tragic officer on Facebook. “On behalf of the club we would like to pass on our thoughts and prayers are with Philippa’s family,” the club said. “She was a huge part of this club both on and off the pitch. Can I extend the thanks for the messages for both family and the club! Always in our thoughts! Always smiling. Miss you Flipper! RIP x.”

Michael Lawson, who knew Const Reynolds while they studied for their PGCEs at Liverpool Hope University, said she was “great fun”. He said: “She would always come out and was really lively but worked really hard as well.”

Councillor Mervyn Rea, who lives near the family’s Crumlin home, said: “My heartfelt sympathy goes out to them – it’s an awful tragedy, especially the circumstances with the parents being on holiday. It’s such a sad loss and really in circumstances that shouldn’t have happened. Being somebody living so locally, I want to sympathise with the parents.”

He described Const Reynolds’ mother as a “lovely lady, just a lovely person,” and said the family was “very well respected, hard-working”. The children from the family had all gone through the local primary school, he added.