Celebrating twenty years of Police Community Support Officers

Amarjit Randhawa, who has served as a Police Community Support Officer for 20 years

This month marks a special landmark for West Midlands Police as they celebrate 20 years of Police Community Support Officers working across the region.

Police Community Support Officers provide an important link between local communities and police officers. They’re a visible presence within neighbourhoods, assisting police officers in their day-to-day duties, and ensuring that there is a constant offer of support for people in need.

The PCSO role was officially created in July 2002 with the first recruits starting in London later that year., with West Midlands welcoming the first PCSOs the following year.

Over the last two decades, PCSOs have made a vital contribution to work in neighbourhoods across the region.

As their title suggests, they work hard to build relationships with members of the local community, listening to their concerns, helping those in need and providing a reassuring presence for all.

Four PCSOs from the original intake of 18 who are still with the service.

They are Julie Hickman, Deborah Hancox, Nicola Tinker and Amarjit Randhawa. Julie, Deborah and Nicola are all based in the Dudley local policing area while Amarjit works in Sandwell.

Julie joined after working for 14 years in retail and three years as a special constable in Dudley. The opportunity to make a positive contribution to the local community was what really attracted her to the role.

Julie is a very familiar face within Netherton, Brierley Hill, Pensnett, Brockmoor, Wordsley and Kingswinford, having had a regular beat in each area over the course of the last 20 years. Julie said:

"I like to think of myself as very much a ‘people person’ and someone you can just approach and have a chat with so being a PCSO is the ideal job for me. I’ve built relationships with all members of the community including those who are vulnerable, elderly people and children.

"They know I’m here to help them if something going on in the neighbourhood is worrying them or if they need assistance dealing with any issues.

“I also gather local intelligence, deal with calls for service, work alongside officers on my neighbourhood team, local authorities, schools and any other organisation I can get involved with as well as assisting the community in running their own neighbourhood, street and speed watches. It’s a great all-round role.”

Julie’s colleague from Sandwell, Amarjit was a newsagent in Halesowen before he became a PCSO. He added: “We’re regularly out and about so we’ve all developed strong links with the people in our local neighbourhoods.

“We’ve got a really good understanding of the issues that matter to them and that local knowledge is something our police officer colleagues really value.”

Chief Superintendent Anthony Tagg, Dudley Local Area Policing Commander said: "We’re proud of the valuable contribution that our PCSOs make to our work.

“Over the last twenty years they’ve become a vital part of neighbourhood policing activity and I’d like to congratulate and thank Julie, Deborah, Nicola and Amarjit for their dedicated service.

“Their passion for the role and commitment to helping others is admirable.”


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