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Day in the life of PCSO Paula Hipkiss

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Nottinghamshire Police PCSO Paula Hipkiss gives us an insight into the valuable role which she has held for the last seven years.

Q: What is your role?

A: My role is to provide a link between the community which we serve and the police. I consider it to be a valuable role as we provide a visible presence on the streets of Nottinghamshire.

We engage in conversations (intelligence gathering), visit homes to provide crime prevention advice, offer general advice, visit schools, carry out foot patrols, scene preservation, road traffic collision traffic control, low-level crime reporting and covering general policing issues.

Q: Have you had to face any challenging/new experiences?

A: Every day is a new challenge and no two days are the same. You need to be able to think on your feet, problem solve/offer alternative outcomes for peoples issues and problems.

 I have overcome many personal challenges in my time as a PCSO but I think I have learned from all my experiences and try to put them into practice to help others.

Q: What does a typical day at work look like for you?

A: Every day is different but generally we discuss issues that have arisen or that need looking at both individually and as a team.

Our sergeant will ask what our daily patrol plan is? This may include any agency meetings we may have. We will also catch up on any paperwork/computer work outstanding. Apart from any tasks our sergeant or control room give us, we plan our own day but you do need to be out and about and visible wherever possible.

We can cover scene preservations, road traffic collision traffic flow patrols, burglary foot patrols, visits to burglary victims and house to house enquiries. My area is around a small town centre so I visit all my shops. We attend local meetings, where applicable, to offer crime prevention advice to all.

You are encouraged to get involved with any local events. If there are any events in my area I will cover them (ie family events, Beavers/Cubs/Rainbows talks, light switch-ons, Remembrance Sunday, Summer Play Days, Bonfire Night, Halloween, parades through the town etc).

Q: What’s the best part of your role?

A: I am a great believer in making a difference, no matter how big or small, in my community.I like the fact that people know me by name and feel reassured to see me around. I consider myself to be approachable and to the best of my ability assist in helping people change their life for the better.

I work on a great team, we all bring together our own experiences from life no matter how young or old we are. Team working is essential in any job and a big part of this role.

Q: What’s your proudest moment?

A: I have two. It is genuinely helping people to get their life back on the right track. A lady I dealt with had turned to alcohol to deal with everyday life, causing issues not only for herself but her young children. Advice and encouragement was given and support throughout her time asking for help. One year down the line she is a confident lady who has not drunk for 11 months, cares well for her children  and now supports other families in similar circumstances to her own.

I have also been heavily involved in providing a service to a volunteer bureau which provides a personal crime prevention course to residents in the area whose first language isn’t English. I have provided course notes, had meetings with the course tutors and attended a final question and answer service. This course has been running for a couple of years and I have been working with them since its launch.

Q: What would you say to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

A: My advice to anyone thinking of joining Nottinghamshire Police as a PCSO is …GO FOR IT. Our role has evolved so much since it first started. You need to be flexible, level-headed and able to communicate on all levels. Your patience will be tested at times. The role does include working shifts so be prepared for this.

Come and help us make a difference….I look forward to working alongside you in the future.