I have been a PCSO since 2008. I used to be a prisoner escort, which meant taking prisoners between prisons, courts and police stations. It gave me real life experience of dealing with prisoners and professionals like court staff and police officers. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I wanted something more, I wanted to make a difference and I chose joining the police. I joined to share my passion for people.
When I first joined I worked at Ampthill Police station on the Woburn Safer Neighbourhood team. At this time a big part of being a PCSO was events. For me it was mainly the Woburn Oyster Festival. The opportunity to spend the weekend doing a mixture of manning the mobile police station, speaking to lots of people, and if you liked seafood, it was heaven!
I was privileged to have been part of the ‘Ampthill family’. I gained knowledge and experience from the best officers around. They made such a difference to the community and people still talk about what they did for their towns and villages to this day. I aspire to do the same. Throughout my career I have been fortunate to have worked with and for some inspirational officers and supervisors.
Annual events such as Halloween, Fireworks, Remembrance Day are busy and rewarding. Halloween is not a favourite for me, as one year I was literally catapulted with eggs by a group of teens! I tell you this because being a PCSO isn’t all great all of the time.
I have been fortunate to work when the Olympic flame was carried through Bedford. I have taken part in the memory walk for dementia, been part of an operation when HRH Prince Charles visited, played 5-a-side football to bridge the gap between teenagers and police and taken part in tug of war at local village events, to name a few.
I have done a number of reassurance visits to victims of burglaries and providing home security advice. Yes, they do involve having a cup of tea but I can tell you that you won’t have a more significant cup of tea than with someone who has been a victim of crime. For a lot of people in our communities, you might be the ONLY person that they see and speak to that day.
I am passionate about mental health and am a dementia champion. I was the face of the Herbert protocol and attended a number of concerns for welfare where someone with dementia had got lost. The search, as well as the support to loved ones, is vital. I’m also working on mental health webinar to raise officer awareness of suicide in farming and rural communities and one of the guest speakers is a mother I supported eight years ago when their young teenage child lost their life through suicide.
Reflecting on my role so far as a PCSO, it is no longer mainly events, it is providing valuable support on key incidents to both my colleagues and the public. I have attended a light aircraft accident at Cranfield University and climbed through a window on a suspicion that the occupant had passed away. I have been first on scene to a sudden death with my Sergeant and attended a road traffic collision where a young child had died, I was there to console devastated witnesses. I have been to a suspect package whereby I had to evacuate a number of people from their homes to a place of safety.
I now work on the Rural Crime Team and closely with victims of rural crime, as well as being involved in wildlife incidents and investigations. I have completed a week-long wildlife crime course in Stafford. I am PNC trained, speed gun trained and very nearly became a drone pilot but health issues got in the way.
My current role differs slightly to when I joined and to other PCSO’s but the reason for doing what I do remains the same – the passion and wanting to make a difference. I still attend events, including young farmers rally’s, rural surgeries and more. Problem solving and partnership working still remains a big part of being a PCSO.
If you would like to join us as a PCSO head over to the webpage for more information about the role and when application windows are next open.