Wednesday 10 Jul 2019
We are currently recruiting Police Community Support officers to take up posts in the Eastern Division of the Force; Wrexham and Flintshire counties. This vital support role offers a rewarding and challenging career for anyone who has the skills, commitment and motivation to serve and protect the communities in which we live.
Two long serving PCSO’s James Yoxhall and Robina Ahmed describe what the jobs entails and why they feel proud to put on their uniform to keep the streets of Wrexham safe.
James, who works in the Offa ward area of the town, joined in 2013. Although he agrees with the often quoted reason for anyone joining the emergency services; “to give back to the community, and to make a difference”, he freely admits that he also had more straightforward reasons. “I saw it as a good job that pays well and that will give me an insight into life in the police.”
James’s patch which includes Hightown, Hermitage, Brynffynnon and Erddig is home to nearly 10,000 people with more than 4,000 households.
He said; “The Offa sector is the largest geographical area of the Wrexham sectors and carries a wide and diverse work load. I can cover roughly seven miles a day on foot patrols in all weathers responding to incidents of antisocial behaviour while providing a visible and reassuring presence in the community.
“We face a wide range of challenges; from people who just shout abuse, to dealing with those who live in a chaotic lifestyle and are at the lowest point of their life. So a PCSO needs to be able to listen, to counsel and to advise - a serious responsibility, but a rewarding one.
“One of the most satisfying recollections of my work to date has been to witness a vulnerable and challenging child find the will to leave a group, do reasonably well in education and now hold down a decent job.
“The group this person was associating with has not done so well and some are serving time while others continue to do very little.
“I had many conversations with this individual, always showing due respect. One day something must have clicked, and when I saw him next he wasn’t hanging around the group. His attitude had changed completely. I don’t know if I had anything to do with that, but I still speak to him now and I am so pleased with how life has worked out for him.”
Being a PCSO patrolling the streets can spark a variety of reactions so you’ll need to be able to take the rough with the smooth; “The very young like to wave at you, some teenagers like to show off to their mates with a bit bravado, or shout abuse and hope for a chase, and then again older adults tend to show you respect.”
A word of advice from James; “If you have got this far into considering being a PCSO - apply. You will face challenges and you never know what the day will bring, but it might just be the career you stay with or one that gives you valuable insight into other careers with North Wales Police.”
Robina Ahmed is one of North Wales Police’s most experienced PCSOs and one of the first in the Eastern Division with more than 14 years of service. Currently working in the community safety department she has covered Queensway, Offa, and rural Wrexham.
She said: “The job has evolved a great deal over the years and yet no two days are the same. There can be misconceptions which frustrate me; some people still think we are volunteers without the power to do anything. It’s not true. We are paid to do a professional job and our role has a real impact on people’s lives and on community cohesion.
“In my service I have been able to make big changes through problem solving and bringing those problems, and solutions, to the attention of superiors and decision makers. In my experience the public appreciate what we are able to do for them.
“As the eyes and ears of the force out in the community we are able to provide useful intelligence to our police colleagues to help tackle crime and keep people safe.
“It’s a widely varied role. Dealing directly with the public to helping to solve anti-social behaviour one minute, to working alongside police officers assisting them with crime scene preservation or house to house enquiries, the next.
“I would encourage anyone to join North Wales Police as a PCSO. We have the time to deal with the public, to “get our steps in” and keep fit while enjoying the great outdoors doing a rewarding and worthwhile job.”