Officers provide a snap shot of what neighbourhood policing is really like
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This week, Leicestershire Police is shining a light on the work of neighbourhood policing teams as part of a national Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action.
‘Beat bobbies’ across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are publicising the huge variety of things they get involved in on their neighbourhoods to give a snapshot into the life of a local officer.
Here two neighbourhood officers from very different beats – PC Karl Turner who helps police Leicester city centre and Sergeant Paul Kear, who is based in Oakham, Rutland - give us an insight into a typical day in their life…
PC Karl Turner
4am and I’m cold and on duty. However, those that need the help and support in the community and those that cause the most harm are out and about at this time. I’m one of the central neighbourhood officers with a remit to work specifically with a small group of some of our most vulnerable people under the umbrella title of street lifestyle.
But first, because of reports of theft from motor vehicles, my first port of call is a planned operation to tackle the problem by increasing patrols in the areas most affected with a high visibility presence and a not so obvious plain clothes presence. Deterrence is working with no reported offences in the areas that were patrolled.
With the weather getting colder there is continued effort by the council’s outreach team to get the most vulnerable members of our community into warm accommodation and start the process of progressing this to a permanent situation. On this day I, along with colleagues, have assisted this team in locating rough sleepers in car parks.
As a result of this seven people have been referred for accommodation, one has taken up the offer of a referral to address his drug addiction and another was found to be wanted for breaching his court bail conditions. Due to being wanted and the original offence being burglary, he has now been remanded to prison.
At 9am I head out on a community visit to Leicester Market where I speak to the management about how partnership work can help towards addressing anti-social behaviour involving young people and diverting them towards more meaningful activities. I’m back just in time for a meeting with Leicester City Council’s crime and antisocial behaviour unit, housing, and their legal team to discuss how to support those in the community who need it most.
It’s fair to say that no work in neighbourhood policing is solved overnight. It’s a long-term commitment to the community, building relationships and providing solutions through partnership.
Sergeant Paul Kear
6.30am and following on from enquiries by officers into a rural commercial burglary I have come on early to brief eight officers and lead a search warrant in a neighbouring county. Any leads or intelligence we get for jobs like this are acted upon as soon as possible as rural crime is an absolute priority for us here in Rutland. The outcome to this job is still ongoing, watch this space…..
At midday I return to the station where I settle down to complete the necessary paperwork and liaise with the detective in the case with the outcomes.
1pm and I pick up a voicemail on my phone while I’ve been out and about. It’s from a landowner on the Leicestershire/Nottinghamshire border to discuss some matters that have been brought to his attention. This contact is a valuable one for me as his reach into the rural and farming communities is very useful to get messages out there to people who don’t always use modern digital mediums and conversely for them to get messages to the police. I return the call.
At 1.30pm I receive a report of a male in the street covered in blood in Oakham (very unusual) after an apparent fall. Officers attend but no trace of the chap and no further calls come in. We can only hope he made it home, cleaned himself up and is ok.
1.45pm and I review all incidents and crime reported in Rutland over the previous 24 hours. Rutland is a really safe place to live so I’m on the lookout for anything that I feel needs a visit or a call from one of my team. This can reassure a victim or caller that we recognise what has happened to them, and that their call for service has been heard by their local police officers leaving them confident that they are well policed despite people living in some quite rural areas.
At 2pm I begin the late shift briefing before reviewing and allocating crimes to officers that require a local investigation by those with in depth knowledge of their community and the people living in it. This adds real value to a victim for reasons I have already mentioned above. It may be the only time in their lives that they need to speak to an officer and to speak to one who knows the area and often the people involved is sometimes very important to them.
I am vice-chair of the Rutland Joint Action Group (JAG) so at 3pm I attend a “virtual” pre-meet with Rutland County Council members to discuss the agenda of the meeting in a couple of days’ time and what we expect from each other. This makes the meeting more effective and productive and prevents matters being carried over, makes cases shorter and interventions prompt and effective.
By 3.30pm I’m tending to any emails that have come in during the day. When I’m satisfied that all the threat risk and harm that has crossed my desk that day has been mitigated/dealt with and there is an acceptable plan to deal with it, I can go home knowing that anything that comes in after I’ve booked off will be picked up by another sergeant. We’re a 24/7 service and the calls can come at any time. At 4pm my duty ends.
During the week of action, led by the National Police Chief’s Council, Leicestershire Police is also encouraging residents to sign up to Neighbourhood Link - a free email alert system from the force, Neighbourhood Watch and other partner organisations, providing relevant news and updates on policing where you live and work.