Jade’s a delight to meet and really rewarding to talk to. If you see her on the beat don’t worry about holding her up - talking to residents is part of her job so flag her down even if she’s on her bike! Jade is a Police Community Support Officer who really loves working in Barrow. She’s well qualified for the job as she has a degree in Criminology and Social Policy under her stab-vest. Yes, as long as she’s on duty she has to wear a stab-vest even sitting in Peppercorns answering questions for Barrow Voice!
We met one Saturday afternoon as I went along to a Beat Surgery held in Peppercorns. Surgeries do move around; sometimes in the library, the Roundhouse or Barrow of Treats and times vary so please check the Beat Surgery diary entry on the back page of Barrow Voice first if you wish to go along. There are two held every month. It’s well worth going as Jade, or her colleague PC Mansfield, highlight recent problems. She told me there had been a spike in opportunistic thefts from cars so is keen to remind people to lock them even if they’re away for only a few minutes. She’s amazed at how many people leave their cars unlocked. Burglaries are different, she said, as they are far more likely to be targeted crimes. So, go along, air any worries you might have, learn what’s happening in the village and get advice on how to protect your goods: there’s a new sophisticated DNA kit the police are selling, at cost price, to mark your possessions. As Halloween was approaching when we met, Jade had brought useful posters to either attract or repel treat-craving youngsters. (See pic)
But being on the beat in Barrow? What’s involved? Well, before leaving the beatoffice for a day’s work Jade checks the systems to see if there have been any problems reported such as car-thefts, burglaries or antisocial behaviour and will make a point of including that area in her beat. Her role is primarily to find out the concerns of people living here, such as noisy neighbours, overgrown trees, inconsiderate parking or signs of criminal activity. Later she’ll report back everything to her team. Jade is one of four people, two Police Constables and another PCSO, who cover Barrow, Sileby, Seagrave, Burton the Wolds, Cotes, Walton on the Wolds, Hoton and Prestwold. This area itself is divided up and two of the team focus on Barrow and the Wolds villages. All police team members are in touch with each other through radio. Jade has a radio and a video camera attached to the front of her jacket. However, as a PCSO Jade doesn’t carry handcuffs, a truncheon or Taser as, although she sometimes has to face conflict, dealing with it isn’t a PSCO’s primary role. Police Constables are the ones trained for coping with conflict and carry all the gear.
To a PCSO deterrence is important. Jade wears a clearly marked Hi-Viz jacket so even from a distance everyone knows she’s a member of the police force. And this visibility works. For example parking on the yellow lines near Hall Orchard School is an offence but once a Hi-Viz PC or PSCO is spotted walking up the hill cars magically disappear! Jade is often in the village. In general she works a pattern of six days on and three days off. There’s no set beat pattern but on average she is in the village most days, or evenings, depending on her shifts, and works a 37 hour week. She mostly walks or cycles and, over time, all Barrow’s streets are covered. They are! If you’ve never seen her, or one of the team, you’ve been out!
The next beat surgery will be at The Barrow of Treats at 13.00 on Dec 16th with PC Mansfield.