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Parish constables hit the beat

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A reborn parish constables programme will help bridge the gap between the police and the public, officers have said.

Arthur Dill, a parish constable and a police officer for more than 20 years, said he intended to build good relationships in the area he served.

Mr Dill, assigned to Pembroke, said: “They can expect from me resolution and participation in the community.”

He wants to help to restore confidence in the police and let “people know that we are humans like you”.

Anthony Bartley, also assigned to Pembroke, said he had good memories of police constables when he was a child and joined the scheme after 14 years in the Criminal Investigation Department.

Mr Bartley explained: “When this post was advertised, it intrigued me. I have been doing criminal investigations for so long, I guess I have the interest in approaching policing from a different perspective”.

Terry Paynter, who will work in Smith’s, plans to build on the relationships she had established over 20 years.

She said: “I have been doing it for a few years so its nothing new for me. We are continuing on the relationships that we have already built.”

Ms Paynter added that, while officers were assigned their own parish, the group would work as a team to ensure the programme was a success.

The group of ten officers said the public had responded well to the reintroduction of the parish beats.

Donna DeSilva, assigned to Sandys, wants to use the job to help restore community pride.

She said she aimed to get people to have similar pride and enthusiasm to that displayed during Cup Match.

She added: “I know we can’t match that, but if we take a quarter of that enthusiasm and infuse that into the community and build on this pride, I think we can have a much safer community.”

Monique Stevens, in charge of Warwick, said: “I am very, very excited about the partnership, because there is so much that needs to be done and there is so much that can be done.”

Ms Stevens added: “I have never experienced having parish constables so to hear everyone speak of how they were influenced and their engagement with parish constables back in the day, it makes me even more motivated”

The officers pledged they will bring a balance between enforcement and assistance.

Cerepha Bridgeman, assigned to Southhampton, said: “It’s always a pleasure to work in the community especially with the young people trying to change their view of seeing the police as the enemy.

“We are a helping agency. The police are like everybody else We are from the same community.

“We are a part of the social fabric so where we can help improve their way of seeing us and build better relationships then that can change the whole view of seeing the police as bad.”

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said he was committed to community policing and the recruitment process for the new parish constables was thorough.

Mr Corbishley added that he aimed to increase the number of parish constables in the future and give them wider roles.

He said: “This is the first stage of many things to come.”

People can meet the parish constables at the Ag Show from April 11 to 13.

Parish Constables