This week we’ve invited one of our participants from the 2015 Police Now cohort to write about their first 28 days since graduating from the Police Now Summer Academy. PC Rhian Samuda is the Dedicated Ward Officer for Northumberland Park in Haringey, North London.
Monday 7th September 2015. After an intense summer of training in East London, my first day stationed on Haringey Borough was here. I arrived 2 hours early, just in case something catastrophic happened on my 30 minute commute. You never know. With an expertly ironed uniform I looked the part if nothing else. I had also been posted to Haringey for field training so knew I would see some familiar faces around the station and had been lucky enough to meet most of my team already.
Based in the north-east of Haringey, my ward is one of the most deprived in the Borough. My first order of business was to wrap my head around the geography of the ward. With a bustling high street almost a mile long, densely populated housing and well connected transport links it took only a few shifts to identify pockets of the ward that would demand my attention. Our team’s resident PCSO has proved to be a wealth of knowledge. I badger him with questions daily, most of which he knows the answer to or someone that does. It’s brilliant to have him around.
The last 28 days is difficult to describe in just a few words. I spent my first weekend at a Community Fun Day organised by a local dance group with Tottenham Hotspur FC in the backdrop. Both children and adults had a chance to try on uniform and take a tour of our police van. I have attended and taken the lead on resolving neighbour disputes. An important lesson I have learnt is to ask residents how they would like to reach a resolution.
Last week, with help from my team and Safer Schools officers I delivered a creative police investigation session to 90 Year 6 pupils. Yes, that’s NINETY. Their enthusiasm and energy was infectious and I look forward to my next visit.
More recently, I was tasked by an Inspector to arrest a suspect in a Handling Stolen Goods case. Intelligence had been received that our suspect would be at a specific location that afternoon with the stolen property. One small thing. I would have to attend in plain clothes. I studied the suspect’s image closely and headed out with another officer to an agreed rendezvous point. This all felt pretty surreal to me, most of all the earpiece I had been given to use. We identified and arrested the suspect swiftly as well as recovered the stolen item. That was definitely an adrenaline filled shift for me, though I was able to remember my training and crucially the police caution when called upon.
Just a few days ago I travelled north to talk to students about the Police Now Graduate Leadership Development Scheme at a Careers Fair organised by The University of Nottingham. Our stand had an enormous level of interest, rivalling some of the most coveted graduate employers.
In the coming weeks I have arranged for a ‘Week of Action’ with Haringey Council. They will be joining me out on foot patrol to tackle and problem solve the issue of alcohol-related Anti-Social Behaviour. I will also be organising my first search warrant aimed at disrupting drug supply in the Borough.
Overall it’s been a whirlwind first month on the job, and much more to come.
Over and Out,
PC 322YR Rhian Samuda