June 19 2013 Latest news:
Eleanore Robinson, News Editor
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Pc Graham Mann, 53, has served in the Metropolitan Police for 29 years and retires next month. On the front line, he tackled knifemen, helped burglary victims and potential suicides. He has been a member of Longbridge Safer Neighbourhood Team for five years, promoting community policing
I joined the Metropolitan Police Force in the early eighties and much like my TV hero Gene Hunt went headlong from one dilemma to another.
It was the constant buzz that captivated me, no two days the same, every situation different. As a police uniform driver, one minute I was offering compassion to the victim of a burglary, the next tackling a knife-wielding crazed drug addict, talking someone out of suicide, giving someone that news that everyone dreads and finding a way to cope with post mortems.
These are the lot of a modern police officer and all too often the reality of the job.
The differing community policing role gives you much more time to deal with a victim, grasp the problems that affect life from a community perspective and become more approachable to all ages.
The two roles are so important but can offer different levels of law, common sense and people skills.
Examples being to entertain the elderly at a bowls match, to working with, and understanding, young people at a youth club that I set up.
Working with the youth service part-time has opened my eyes to the reality of some people’s negativity towards the 11 to 19-year-olds.
I have been appalled by some of the comments made to me and always ready to shout out to defend these people who can offer so much.
I was able to highlight the wearing of two hats recently when I appeared for the prosecution as arresting officer of a young person but then for the defence giving a character reference of the same lad. Unheard of in my profession.
I hope that I have been able to break into that hidden world of teen pressure, relationships and growing up and showed some of these “teens” that police can be trusted and worked with, and hopefully my Met colleagues have learnt a bit from me.
Where to now? Well a new career as a youth worker at Ripple Primary School, yes young people again, and a bit more time to catch Norway cod and grow mouth watering fruit and veg.
Over and out, Graham.
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