Posted: Thursday 6th July 2017
The past year has been a real eye opener for me. To go from being a full-time student into a work environment has certainly been a challenge. The pace of the work place has been fast and the early starts and late finishes never get easier. Having replaced the Police Authority in 2012, PCC’s are a fairly new concept making awareness and engagement a never ending challenge for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
As Digital, Events and Engagement Coordinator, the vast majority of my role includes social media and public engagement. I have been to all ends of the Avon and Somerset force area with the PCC at community events, public forums and meetings, while also managing our social media platforms. There is some truly fantastic work that the OPCC are involved in and it has been a real pleasure to experience. Social media has allowed me an insight into some of the more interesting areas of the Constabulary such as filming public order training, Taser demonstrations and roads policing, not forgetting the horses and dogs; a definite favourite!
Some personal highlights of my placement include a visit to HMP Leyhill and the National Police Air Service (NPAS), reviewing the magistrate’s court process, visiting the policing team at Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station and getting involved in Restorative Justice Week. Other achievements include introducing bi-monthly live Facebook webchats with the PCC and Chief Constable, launching campaigns on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Domestic Abuse and Mental Health and publishing the new Police and Crime Plan 2016-21. However, my most notable would be recognising exceptional individuals in the PCC Pride Awards and newly introduced Be Proud Awards. These are all events I will never forget.
The team here are extremely kind, efficient and motivated. Everyone is willing to help no questions asked and it is a lovely environment to work in. I have learnt a lot from everyone, due to the diversity of the team and their different roles and experiences. A certain table in the main office couldn’t go without mention as it is often filled with delicious cakes from around the team. One of my favourites, and most bizarre, would be the infamous ‘courgette cake’ which tastes nothing like it sounds.
Working within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has been a steep learning curve. They have cultivated my skills, and ultimately matured me as an individual. I have met some wonderful people along the way and will be sad to leave the team. I wish them all the best in the future. Who knows, I might even see them again as an officer.
Student Placement from the University of the West of England
(July 2016 – June 2017)