Say hello to the Sarge

IF YOU thought the laughing policeman only existed in song then think again because he is alive and well patrolling the streets of Barking. By the size of his smile you can tell Sergeant Brian Fry of the Safer Transport team enjoys his job. He specificall

IF YOU thought the laughing policeman only existed in song then think again because he is alive and well patrolling the streets of Barking.

By the size of his smile you can tell Sergeant Brian Fry of the Safer Transport team enjoys his job.

He specifically deals with Barking town centre and over the years has certainly got to know a few local characters.

And they all know him, whether they are shop-owners, pub-goers or youngsters hanging about town - everyone wants to say hello to Sgt Fry.


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Even the criminals he regularly catches shoplifting or carrying drugs have respect for him and his team.

Sgt Fry said: "I have built up a great relationship with a lot of the 'usual suspects' we have here in Barking.

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"It is important for them to realise that it is possible to get along with the police.

"We treat them with respect and we expect to be treated the same way."

The POST was invited to come and patrol the streets with the team and see the job they do first hand.

At 6pm on Friday March 27 Sgt Fry and PC James Garrett came across a case of shoplifting at Cash Converters in East Street.

Two young lads had gone into the shop, one picked up a piece of DJ equipment valued a �70 and walked out without paying.

Once outside he dumped the stolen item and ran off leaving his friend in the custody of Sgt Fry.

He was taken back to Barking police station to be fingerprinted and interviewed by Sgt Fry. He was then bailed.

Afterwards the officers hit the streets, stopping and searching and taking open cans of beer from people drinking in the street.

On one occasion a joint of cannabis was found in a man's pocket.

Sgt Fry said: "In this case it was a small quantity and there were no aggravating factors. He was not smoking it in the street.

"We gave him a warning and took the cannabis joint away to be destroyed.

"Most of the people we stop are harmless enough and we rarely get trouble from them because they know and respect us."

Speaking to youngsters in Barking town centre the opinion seems to be unanimous - Sgt Fry is a great guy.

Lisa Wilson, 18, and her boyfriend Patrick Harmon, 20, live at The Foyer in Wakering Road, which provides housing for young homeless people and single mums.

She said: "The police around here are great. They don't treat you badly which is nice because when you're young you do get people looking down on you all the time."

The Transport team have real ties to the community, and get the respect they deserve, no wonder they are all so happy.

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