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A day in the life of PCSO Naomi Burkart

My Name is Naomi Burkart and I am
a Police Community Support Officer for Northamptonshire Police.

My career prior to joining
Northamptonshire Police was working for the Prison Service in Wellingborough
for three years.

While working for the Prison
Service I saw an opportunity to join Northamptonshire Police as a Police
Community Support Officer. My reasons for joining were to experience the varied
opportunities which the role would bring and to engage in a positive way with
the local community.

I was attracted to the role of PCSO
as I believed it would equip me with the unique skills to deal with and resolve
community issues. I also wanted to assist Police Officers and allow policing to
be more visible and accessible to members of the public.

Finally I hoped I would be able
to provide specialist advice to help reduce victims of crime and make a real difference
to my community.

I have been a Police Community
Support Officer (PCSO) for ten and half years based at Campbell Square Police
Station and covering the central part of Northampton.

My first five years were spent
working mostly on a residential area. The work encompassed dealing with a wide
variety of community organisations and with people from diverse backgrounds.  I enjoyed attending a range of meetings and
developing local initiatives, learning a lot in the process and expanding my
knowledge and skills within the community.

My last five years have been
spent working in the busy Town Centre of Northampton where a different set of
skills have been required. Retail links have been developed and maintained and
issues such as begging and street drinking have required a different problem
solving approach. I have continued to enjoy fostering relationships with key
partner agencies and tackling issues in a multi-disciplinary way.  Community Policing requires a real team
approach and it is this aspect of the role which is both challenging and
rewarding.

During the past ten years I have
developed many skills including being trained as a tutor, expanding my
knowledge of problem solving techniques and organising and running large
community events. I am also proud to have previously been awarded
Northamptonshire Police PCSO of the Year.

Typical Day in the life of a
PCSO

My day usually starts with a team
briefing led by my Sergeant. During this meeting we discuss issues and actions
taken on the previous day and highlight emerging trends and jobs which need to
be actioned that day.  It is a chance to catch up on local intelligence
and review the jobs for the day. The tasks given can range from follow up
visits to victims of low level crime or anti-social behaviour, to meetings with
local councillors or shop managers.

Once the tasked visits are
completed, I might do some work on the longer term problems, which have been identified
by the community as their local priority.  These can range from tackling
persistent beggars and street drinkers to arranging community safety visits on
vulnerable business premises.

Visiting and liaising with key
partner agencies is a major part of my role and I will pop in and meet with the
Council and multi-agency Anti-Social Behaviour Unit to discuss ongoing and potential
forthcoming cases. I might then go and visit an address which has been the
subject of anti-social behaviour and take a statement to add to the evidence
which is being gathered to tackle the issue. I will then speak to the Borough
CCTV manager to check whether their cameras cover this location and ask them to
let me know via a retail link radio if they witness any issues.

Walking through the Town I may
see a male drinking from an opened can of alcohol and will then challenge him
and remove the can under the current local Designated Public Places Order. I always
use my communication skills to stop this from becoming confrontational and the
drinker often shrugs his shoulders and allows me to take the can to dispose of
it.  I regularly meet up with a Police Constable who works on my team and
we discuss local issues and how we are best placed to help each other tackle
problems with our own knowledge and powers. I may then patrol the local
shopping centre for an hour speaking to security managers and providing
reassurance to the local shoppers.

Variety in my role can come from
any quarter and I could be suddenly called to deal with youths cycling through
the crowded pavements and putting themselves and pedestrians at risk. I manage
to stop and speak to one of the youths who I know and I explain the risks and
dangers of her actions. I also enquire as to why she is not at school and
discover that she should actually be in school at this time. A phone call and a
short time later her mother comes to pick her up and I follow this up with the
school to check that there are no longer term issues which are contributing to
her truancy. I speak to our Early Intervention Team to see if this is an issue
which they can follow up on and I then reflect on how a simple case of
anti-social behaviour has led to a wider issue being discovered and preventative
active action taken.

My afternoon is spent at a
meeting with a local charity to see what support they might offer to a local
street drinker who is causing issues due to an alcohol problem, which in turn
exacerbates his mental health issues. We discuss some outreach work and whether
some skills training might assist this individual.  We come up with a plan
which I share via a report form with my colleagues and I then hope that I have
set in motion a longer term solution to reduce repeated calls to the Police and
Ambulance Control Rooms and also helped improve the health and welfare of this
individual.

My day finishes with some patrol
work around the town centre, being visible and proactively targeting any
identified ‘hot spot’ areas. I speak to a market trader who just wants to
discuss the latest politics from America and then a security guard from a local
store who wants advice on obtaining a retail link radio.

Finally I return to the office to
write up a report on my earlier meetings and to update the logs record my
alcohol seizures for the day.

It is a job where I can really
make a difference and I drive home very tired after a long but fulfilling day
at work.

My aspiration for the future
within policing is to continue as a Community Support Officer for
Northamptonshire Police. I view this role as fundamental in providing the link
between local Communities and Policing in general. If I could choose just three
goals for the future, it would be:

1)      To
work hard in keeping and expanding working relationships within my Community,
which I have built up over the last ten years.

2)      To
work smarter with partner agencies, in order to solve long term problems,
meeting the needs of our communities and to reduce demand on other parts of the
organisation.

3)     
Look to carry on the support network in building
Public Confidence within Northamptonshire Police through partnership working.

 

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