Nottinghamshire police have been celebrating Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action by sharing the life and stories of its community officers.
Paula Hipkiss a community support officer in Beeston has shared a day in her life as she has been a support officer for 13 years and her passion to make a difference and help people change their lives for the better is why she does her job.
Paula’s core role is to engage with people and give them confidence to tell the police what is happening, what affects them and what they are worried about so the police can offer solutions to help make people’s lives easier.
She described her role as a way to “provide a link between the community we serve and the police.”
Community support officers have a key role in the police as they gather intelligence on a daily basis and help build a bigger and better picture of what is happening in areas across Nottingham.
On an average day Paula can visit schools, go to homes to provide crime prevention advice as well as go out on foot patrols and cover more general policing issues.
One of Paula’s proudest moments is helping a mother get her life back on track after using alcohol to deal with her issues.
Paula helped the woman through giving advice, encouragement and support which led to her improving her life and giving up alcohol.
Paula said: “Every day is a new challenge and no two days are the same, as a PCSO you need to be out and about and be as visible as possible.
“I look for engagement opportunities at all times and if there are events in my area I will also cover them where possible.
“I’m a great believer in making a difference in my community, no matter how big or small.”
She is local to Beeston and grew up there as well as attending a local school so she has a wide knowledge of what the area is like.
“I’ve used some of those contacts to try and build up relations with the local community. I consider myself to be approachable and I like the fact that people know me by name and feel reassured to see my around.”
Nottinghamshire Police are currently inviting people to apply for police community support officer roles as there are vacancies in the force.