I normally arrive at work 20 minutes before I start so I can check I have all my equipment for the day and that it's in full working order. This includes making sure the battery on my airwave terminal is fully charged, I have all the relevant ticket books in my utility vest, my pen works and my boots are polished! I will also check through any incidents that have occurred in my area to ensure that I'm up to date - I'm expected to know all about my area's people, property and crime.
This is when we have our briefing from the Sergeant, where individual officers are allocated follow-up visits for crimes and anti-social behaviour incidents that have occurred overnight, and we are informed of any local intelligence so we can keep our eyes out for known offenders and stolen cars, for example.
I then head off on my beat - the first stop is the local supermarket. They've had problems with some anti-social behaviour outside the store - groups of young people have been hanging around the entrance to the shop blocking the way for members of the public. I speak with the security staff and look at some CCTV footage to see if I recognise any of the young people. Luckily I do and I make a note of their names so I can follow it up by speaking to them, with their parents, at a later date.
I make my way to the local community centre, today they have a coffee morning and I'm going there to talk to them about how they can report incidents through the non-emergency telephone number for the Police. I'm met with a warm welcome, a cup of tea and a biscuit, and they share some very useful information about people who have been knocking on doors in the area trying to sell items. Gathering intelligence is a vital part of my job – this is put on the central system for all officers and PSCOs to access.
I'm now off to see a member of the public who has had, unfortunately, their car window smashed. I visit the address and speak to the owner of the car, find out where it was parked and offer the person general reassurance. I now conduct house to house enquiries and speak to the residents in the area to see if they can give me any information about the damage. Any information I find is then put on to the crime report for the Police officer who has been given the crime to progress and investigate.
I'm back on the streets, after returning to the station for a quick bite to eat, conducting a high visibility patrol. I receive a call on my radio from the control room – there's bee a report of an abandoned car within the area. I make my way and it turns out the car's been stolen. I make arrangements for it to be recovered so a Forensic Investigator can analyse any evidence.
I head to the infants school in the Old Village - we receive many complaints about dangerous parking near the school. I attend to make sure the area is safe for when the children are leaving school and this is an ideal opportunity to talk to local parents and children and find out about any new issues or problems.
I'm making another visit to a victim of crime and this time it's in the industrial estate as there's been a burglary in one of the factories. I speak with the owner of the business and arrange for a Crime Prevention Officer to come and do a site visit to discuss and provide any crime prevention possibilities that can make the site more secure.
I'm back on the streets again and I focus my patrols on the areas we call ‘hotspots,' which are areas which have the most problems with anti-social behaviour. I sit in one of the parks and update the crime logs for the visits I have completed today and input any intelligence I have gathered onto my Blackberry. Whilst sitting in the park I see three young looking lads in the skate park, one of whom is smoking. I don't believe he is old enough to smoke so I ask him for identification - he doesn't have any and admits he is only 14, so I confiscate his cigarettes. I take his name, date of birth and address to complete a Stop Form which details to him the reason as to why I have stopped him.
I arrive back at the station and ensure that any paperwork I have completed is handed in and anything I couldn't get done on my Blackberry is completed on the computer.
It's time to go home and relax for me now, so I'm ready to come back again tomorrow for another varied day.
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SUPPORT PCSOs, DON’T UNDERMINE THEM SAYS POLICE CHIEF
British Transport Police Deputy Chief Constable Andy Trotter today came out in support of Police Community Support Officers warning that undermining them makes their job more difficult.
‘PCSOs have a crucial and increasing role to play in policing. They are not police officers and not a substitute for them and we don’t pretend they are, but the constant undermining of their role and authority only serves the interests of yobs and criminals,’ he said.
‘PCSOs are doing a good job and there are many people out there who are a lot healthier than they would be, but for their intervention.’
DCC Trotter pointed to the recent heroic actions of one of BTP’s longest serving PCSOs. Jay, who is based at London’s Waterloo station, was one of the first intake of PCSOs into BTP in 2005. Last week (Friday, 5 October), shortly after midnight, he was on his way home from work when he intervened to help a young man being attacked on a bus in Woolwich.
Jay had boarded the bus at Woolwich station and a stop later a white male got on and racially abused the driver. He went upstairs and a short while later people from the top deck came back down the stairs as a fight had broken out. Jay went to see if he could help and found a black youth being attacked by the white male. Having identified himself and tried to warn the male off, Jay was himself abused and told he would get the same treatment. Jay then grappled with the assailant and detained him for 10 minutes until local police arrived to arrest him, sustaining several injuries in the process.
Asked if he was scared, Jay, who is 54, said: ‘It is part of the job. I managed to secure him and twist his arm behind him until the Met arrived. A similar thing happened last week at Waterloo International, you get used to it.’
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