This Christmas Avon and Somerset Police will be working behind the scenes and across your communities to help you have the Christmas you deserve.
There are many people within Avon and Somerset Police that will be working over the Christmas period and we wanted to give you an insight into some of the roles.
Shaun is a PC based in Patchway Police Centre, responding to phone calls from the public who need police assistance.
“Working at Christmas can be tough, we find ourselves dealing with family disputes and arguments with people who are fed up being with each other over Christmas. There are two ends of the scale from dealing with drunken people returning from their festive drinking to people feeling depressed and alone at Christmas and wanting to harm themselves.
One Christmas Day I arrested someone for burglary, who had smashed their way into a home of an elderly couple who were staying with family for Christmas. They were witnessed by a neighbour leaving the attacked premises with items. They were able to give a good description and a direction of travel which helped us find the thief quickly. They even had the stolen items and Christmas presents in their possession so we were able to return everything to the elderly couple. It did feel good to have a happy outcome.”
Steve is a sergeant in Bath, supervising the team’s response to 999 calls.
"Sadly, by the time the nightshift starts most families are fed up with each other and have drunk too much so we often have to attend domestics trying to act as peacemaker. The worst part of working at Christmas is if there is a death as this is probably the worst time of year for anybody to die and delivering that news is earthshattering.
I worked a Christmas day shift a few years ago and was expecting a nice quiet shift where the whole team could have a festive breakfast together. In fact my shift began with attending an attempted murder and a serious bomb threat. Whilst we missed breakfast, it was rewarded as we located and arrested the suspect for the attempt murder, identified the culprit for the bomb threat & he was also arrested. These results made my Christmas dinner all the better."
Steve is a Force Incident Manager (FIM), he is responsible for ensuring any critical incidents are managed appropriately from initial assessment of threat, harm and risk to authorising the right tactical approach.
The Force Incident Manager (FIM) will be the senior officer in the communications department overviewing all incidents 24/7. Steve will be working nights on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, meaning he will begin his shift with a handover at 9.30pm before briefing supervisors.
“I am hoping that it will be quiet so everyone can enjoy the festive period. However, we will have sufficient resources available to be able to respond to incidents in the normal way as the need arises.”
The most common incidents over Christmas are domestic disputes in this time of enforced family situations; missing people as people find themselves sad and alone; opportunist crime from advertising your empty present boxes and public order offences after overindulgence.
“I have worked many Christmas’s over the years. I recall one occasion many years ago when the weather was particularly bad. I had my first experience of working in the control room, helping out due to the large increase in calls for assistance. Once complete, my sergeant then gave me a set of keys to a police car, and I was duly dispatched to go and deal with the calls I had just taken.”
Steve’s Christmas Day will be slightly different to a normal, so his family ensure they work around his shifts so he can still celebrate with them.
“We have made a special arrangement with Santa this year for him to deviate from his normal route, so he can pop in to see us on Christmas Eve so we can open some pressies together as a family before I go to work. I will then spend Christmas afternoon for lunch with family before coming back into work in the early evening.”
Steve’s Christmas message: “We will be working as normal across the festive period, so if you need us we will be there. There are several ways to contact us. Please try to stay safe and look after each other and have a wonderful Christmas.”
Why not follow our Call Centre on twitter (@ASPCallCentre) for tips on where best to get support and to get an insight into the 24 hour world of a Police Call Centre.