Tributes have been paid to an â€œoutstandingâ€ Croydon police officer who died while off duty.
PC Mark Parsons, 43, of Fieldway Safer Neighbourhoods Team collapsed in Beckenham on Tuesday morning.
Despite the best efforts of paramedics and medical staff at Croydon University Hospital the father-of-two died later that morning. A cause of death has yet to be established.
Acting Borough Commander Rob Atkin described PC Parsons as a â€œtrue â€˜Bobby on the Beatâ€™â€.
â€œHe was an outstanding police officer who genuinely cared about the people and communities he served.
â€œMark was held in the highest regard by his colleagues here in Croydon and also by the people who lived and worked in the wards of Fieldway and Healthfield, where he spent much of his time.
â€œHe will be deeply missed by all of his friends and colleagues here at Croydon.
â€œOur thoughts are with Markâ€™s wife, two children and family and we will be doing all we can to support them at this terrible time.
â€œFuneral arrangements have yet to be made but we understand that Markâ€™s family wish for it to be a private affair.â€
PC Parsons began work with the Met in January 1990 and served in Lewisham for eight years. In 1998 he transferred to Kent Police but returned to London in 2007 and had worked in Croydon ever since. Gadget sources say that Mark was an outstanding individual who tutored many county and city police officers over the years. A naturally quiet Irishman, Mark was loyal, dedicated, brave, selfless and a true gentleman.
A member of the public writes:
I knew him when he was Acting Sergeant for the Heathfield SNT. He invited me round for a chat and even gave me his personal mobile â€˜phone number. I never used it, as I felt that his personal time was important. Whenever I needed to report an incident at Addington Hills, Addington Park, the little shops near Gravel Hill, or Forestdale, he would deal with it promptly. Such a good officer. So sad. My thoughts are with his family.â€
I think it is true to say that all of us would be proud to receive a comment like that from the public. RIP.