Today’s blog is from All Saints RA Jack Brown, who has been meeting up with the local PCSOs who work with MMU. Read on for the full interview;
On Wednesday 13th January I joined two Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), Julie and Sarah who are based in and around the Local area of Hulme. Both ladies have over 20 years experience within their field.
I wanted to find out what made them decide to become a PCSO and what they do around campus, in particular how they help students, like yourselves.
At 19 Julie worked for the Post Office as a ‘Postie’. Whilst out and about Julie came across various scenarios which pushed her beyond her normal duties. In one particular incident a Gentleman took a turn for the worse and literally, dropped dead. This put Julie in an unusual position, as you can imagine. Julie had to liaise with the emergency services and take control of the situation in hand. From this Julie decided that she wanted to do more than delivering mail and work with the local community. After seeing a job advertised in the local paper for a PCSO, this matched perfectly to her personality. After a successful interview and undergoing training her first base was at the Manchester district, Moss Side.
Julie came across many challenging incidents and also became a victim of crime herself. “it was my own fault really, I left the window open after decorating the room” Julie had both cars stolen “I was fearing the worst that they had been taken away and been burnt out, we only had one of the cars for three days!”, however what upset Julie the most was that her picture of her Daughter was thrown on the ground and that offender was 16 years of age. Julie admits she was angry with the theft, but was more upset of how young the perpetrator was. This brought crime into a new context for Julie, at this point she decided that she wanted to work with young people and prevent them from even thinking about crime in the first place.
Sarah originally went to the University of Lincoln to study forensics, despite not following this path, Sarah has similar traits to Julie and wanted to do more for the local community. Sarah is now the University Officer who works alongside Julie, the University, Student Living, security officials and Greater Manchester Police.
I asked for their advice on what was the ‘hot’ crime and what we, as students should be aware of and how to deter crime. Julie pointed out that smart Phone theft is the “number one issue” Sarah said “many students have very expensive items, smart phones, laptops, games consoles and music devices, It’s all about being aware who’s around you. It’s so easy for criminals to snatch phones and other electronic items out of hand’s”. They both recommend that you get all your devices registered the National Police Database ‘Immobilise’ this way, the police have a way of making sure the device can be traced back to the owner if it’s handed in or confiscated by the Police. They also point out that “it’s really important that you report the crime as soon as possible, recording the time, where you were, and if you can remember and distinct features the suspect had”.
The Officer’s also want to remind you that it’s always important that you tell your friends where you are going and not to walk on your own, particularly in poorly lit places. Make sure you are aware of who is around you and keep expensive items out of show.
Below are some useful links for the Police and security.
999 is emergency number for the Police, Ambulance and Fire Services
101 is for non emergency, e.g. to report a crime, report suspicious activity, if the operator deems it an emergency then you will be put through to the emergency services.
NHS Direct 0845 4647
Greater Manchester police www.gmp.police.uk
Register your electronic devices with www.immobilise.com – its free!