This post won’t endear me to the PCSO-slagging brigade, so if you’re one of them, look away now.
PCSO Hussain is worth his weight in gold, at least he was this week.
I’m on lates and it’s been a busy week so far. On a good day we have half-a-dozen police units to deploy. If there’s a major incident on the go you might lose two of those for scene guarding or running enquiries/little follow-on jobs. The division has arrest targets. If the targets are down then they’re expected to go out and do arrest enquiries from the list of current wanted people. You could lose two units to arrest enquiries, most of which will be negative. Of the two units left, one might have a pre-arranged interview to conduct while the other might need to do urgent paperwork.
The above has happened more than one day this week. This leaves us with zero units to deal with all the jobs which are still on the box from the early turn, and the day before and the day before and probably the day before that as well. And that’s not to even mention all the new jobs which will come in over the next ten hours. This usually means that most of the jobs go ignored & only the new immediates get assigned. I end up ringing back the same people I rang back yesterday apologising for not being able to send someone round, yet again.
PCSO Hussein helps me out. He spends the next 8 hours going from job to job. Most of them are low level disorder by the youths who are let loose to terrorise the neighbourhoods by parents who don’t give a toss. "Any unit free for kids chucking stones at the old folks flats?" is usually met by a response from PCSO Hussein along the lines of "If you can’t find anyone for that we’ll do it after our current job". He (and his two colleagues) take most of the jobs which come in during the shift. These are jobs which many police patrols don’t like doing because there’s not enough excitement in them, they can’t use their blues & twos, and there is no recordable result. Unfortunately, telling a bunch of semi-drunken, illiterate yobs to fuck off somewhere else doesn’t tick any boxes in the ‘sanctioned detections’ stats, unless they can talk the job up to include a Secction 5 Public Order act fixed penalty ticket, which they can’t in most cases.
PCSO Hussein knows most of the yobs, he’s also met their parents over the last couple of years. Some of the kids take the piss out of him, I’m sure, but a lot don’t and at least he gets jobs off the box, which is all the control room supervisors care about. He also takes the time to go and speak with the victim. A lot of police officers don’t bother, they don’t like taking the flak for failing to solve a problem which society has neglected to solve, sometimes they drive off and when asked if they’ve seen the informant or victim they say they’re now miles away and would we mind ringing them to give them the bad news. If we’ve got time I do but only because I’ve been there and I know the feeling. (of the officer). PCSO Hussein visits his informants or victims without being asked.
It’s not until I’m getting to the end of the shift that I realise PCSO Hussein hasn’t had a break all shift. It’s not just the PCs who are running about.
PCSO Hussein won’t get any thanks or recognition for his efforts, certainly off the rest of the shift and probably from anyone who hasn’t seen what he’s been doing for the last 8 hours or more. I’ll send an email to his supervisor though. I appreciate his assistance today, and I might need it again in the near future.