MONDAY January 17 marks the beginning of Neighbourhood Policing week of action (17-23 January) – a week to recognise and celebrate the achievements of community policing.
Neighbourhood Policing is a specialism – it is the personification of what British policing is all about and our neighbourhood model is the envy of the world.
This is the first time such a week of action has been developed to celebrate the vital work that all our Neighbourhood Policing officers, PCSOs and volunteers do to protect and reassure the communities of Dyfed-Powys, but also nationally.
Dyfed-Powys Police Deputy Chief Constable, and NPCC Neighbourhood Policing Portfolio Lead Claire Parmenter said: “Neighbourhood Policing officers, PCSOs and volunteers perform such a crucial role in the landscape of policing. I am delighted that for the first time we’re having a week such as this to recognise, support and celebrate their achievements.
“The work they do to prevent crime from happening through early intervention and developing new ways of tackling crime through problem solving is crucial. But equally important is the strong links they build with our communities, which means they are best placed to gather intelligence on a range of issues.
“These strong links with local residents, partners, and businesses help create our local policing priorities that can make a real difference in communities.
“Thank you to all the amazing, hard-working neighbourhood officers, PCSOs and volunteers who do an incredible job keeping us safe, but also feeling safe.”
There will also be a focus on the wellbeing of neighbourhood teams during the week, and a schedule of events and materials is underway to support them.
But it’s the difference they make to people that stands out – and a Dyfed-Powys Police officer who found his calling in Neighbourhood Policing was named the people’s champion at the force annual awards.
Pembrokeshire PC Leigh Jones was nominated for the #WeCare award by members of the public for his outstanding service to his community.
Together with his PCSO team he has worked to build relationships with local young people, engaging with them in a positive way and earning their trust.
Through these interactions, diversionary schemes and closer working with youth services, Leigh has led by example in trying to reduce disruptive or antisocial incidents in the town.
Sarah Greener, who works for a local charity supporting people with arthritis, nominated Leigh for his helpful attitude and efforts to support the work of local organisations.
“He has helped get our name out to people and is always so keen to help us,” said Sarah.
“People often only think of the police when something has gone wrong, so seeing Neighbourhood Teams at positive local events helps break down those barriers and highlights specific things NPTs do, such as welfare checks.
“It makes them seem more approachable and more in touch with what is going on locally.”
A team of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who worked during the pandemic to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the Deaf community, and developing important community relationships, also won an award.
The nine PCSOs attended weekly British Sign Language (BSL) sessions, putting in more than 150 hours of study time and achieving Level 2 qualifications.
Their tutor Sarah Lawrence said: “They immersed themselves in Deaf culture and history, and the challenges facing Deaf people. Their desire and ambition to learn her language had been truly heart-warming.
“As a member of the Deaf community I am delighted to say that each one of them ‘gets it’ – the isolation and barriers Deaf people face when trying to access any form of service.
“By learning BSL they have completely changed that dynamic, the lack of trust within the Deaf community and sometimes the lack of understanding. Through a shared language Dyfed-Powys Police now has more knowledge and understanding of the barriers people face when accessing policing services.”
Join us in celebrating and thanking our Neighbourhood Policing Teams this #NeighbourhoodPolicingWeek.