An important part of Chorlton's crime prevention team is made up of the PCSOs who patrol the streets side by side with pcs dealing with crime and antisocial behaviour and helping to raise awareness of local policing issue.
We put some questions to Claire Ryan, one of Chorlton's local PCSOs.
Fetch: What do you get up to day-to-day in your role as a PCSO?
Claire: Every day is different for a PCSO! On an average day we check the computer systems to see what crime has occurred in our area since we were last on duty, we look to see which offenders have been arrested within the area and if there are any patterns or spikes emerging in any particular crime, for example recently the Didsbury Point area near Withington Hospital is suffering a spate in vehicle crime. We have a daily intelligence briefing so we are aware of who is currently wanted, who our known “active” offenders are in the areas we cover and where we need to focus our patrols. PCSO’s get tasked to deal with crime enquiries; which could be house to house enquiries in relation to Burglaries, Theft of Motor Vehicles, Robberies, Criminal damage etc, crime enquiries involve returning to the scene of a crime & conducting a trawl of any CCTV cameras that may have covered an offence, collecting CCTV from the council, shops, pubs or other local businesses, taking statements, visiting any victims and reassuring the community where a crime has occurred. After the crime queue has been checked, we start foot patrol around our designated beats within Chorlton, whilst patrolling we can be sent to incidents via our radio’s or sometimes we can come across jobs whilst being out. A lot of what we do in our role is about crime prevention, if we notice a house has a window open whilst we are walking past – then we will knock on your door to advise you about this being a potential invite to a burglar! The same goes if we spot a Sat Nav or other valuable on display in a car. We attend community meetings, coffee mornings, schools, or other events happening. It is very important to a PCSO that we go to as many of these events or meetings as it helps us to meet the people that are living within our area, it also gives people the chance to talk to us about any that they would not normally have rang or approach the police to talk about, it allows us the opportunity to give out crime prevention advice, personal attack alarms, light timers, window alarms and security bike marking labels.
Fetch: How many other PCSOs do you work with in our local area?
Claire: Currently there are 16 PCSO’s, split across the new Didsbury Integrated Neighbourhood Team that now covers Whalley Range, Chorlton, Chorlton Park, East and West Didsbury. There are 4 teams that work a 4 week shift pattern and cover between 0700 hours to midnight and we each patrol a particular area.
Fetch: What areas do you cover and how do you divide your time between them?
Claire: Chorlton is a big area, and as mentioned above we have numerous officers and PCSO’s working within the area. We each have our own “beat” made up of the Chorlton Ward & Chorlton Park Ward. The officers covering those beats work alternate shifts, so we always have neighbourhood officers & PCSO’s patrolling at different times of the day & night. Dividing our time is a difficult one to answer, as if we have a crime to investigate then sometimes that can take up a large part of the day. When we have no crimes or Operations taking place then everyone, PCSO’s, Officers, even the Sergeant will leave the office and walk or drive around the area patrolling. We love stopping to speak with our community, because that’s how we find out what issues are affecting people!
Fetch: Tell us about a funny incident you've had to deal with.
Claire: A couple of months back, one of our PCSO’s attended an incident over the radio about loose chickens in the road! When she attended there were about 4 chickens in the road on an estate in Chorlton, one of our colleagues arrived with a box to help put the chickens in once she had caught them. After knocking on some of the local houses to see if anyone knew who they belonged to, it turned out they had escaped from someone’s back garden that lived near-by and were quickly returned back to where they belonged. We did all have a good chuckle about it once she arrived back at the station; it’s certainly not something you would normally expect to come across!
Fetch: What are the main issues you regularly deal with in and around Chorlton?
Claire: We regularly deal with issues of Burglary, Car crime, graffiti, Anti-social behaviour, neighbour disputes, and cars parking inconsiderately around Chorlton precinct and outside of schools, we have been working with Oswald Road Primary School of late to try and educate the parents/carers dropping children off at the school to not park in restricted places as this is putting children and other road users at risk of potential road traffic accidents. We are all dedicated to making Chorlton a better place to live, and as a neighbourhood team we like to try to resolve any issue big or small that is affecting the people living or working within Chorlton.
Follow us on Twitter it is a great social networking tool for crime prevention advice and daily updates on crime occurring within our Community. We also follow local community sites and business’s, promoting events and offers. For Chorlton and Whalley Range areas follow @GMPChorlton and for Didsbury follow @GMPDidsbury. It would be beneficial to follow both as each account has different officers updating them who each have their own twitter style.
How do I report a crime?
In an emergency you should dial 999. An emergency is when a crime is being committed or has just been witnessed, there is a risk of injury, or a risk of serious damage to property.
In an non-emergency you should dial 101. Use this number to report a non-emergency incident.