PCSO Amardeep Sandhu describes the importance of community relationships in his job role
PCSO Sandhu and SFiCE Trustee and Director Parminder Dhanjal (Image by Nottinghamshire Police)
Patrolling crime hotspots, engaging with the community, giving a helping hand at food banks, and helping residents with any problems are all in a day’s work for a police and community support officer.
PCSO Amardeep Sandhu has been in the role for over 15 years and looking after the Radford and Lenton areas most recently.
Beginning his career as a special constable, he then jumped feet first into becoming a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) in a bid to help reduce crime and make a real difference in the community.
PCSO Sandhu worked in residential areas to develop local initiatives and attend meetings, spent time with the youth issues team and worked with schools to tackle issues surrounding gangs and knife crime during his first five years on the job.
But for the last nine years, his role has revolved around working on the neighbourhood policing teams, where a different set of skills has been required to develop, maintain and help resolve issues affecting the communities he serves.
He said, “The best part of my job is getting to talk to people and engaging with all the different communities and people from all walks of life.
“I want to help make a difference in people’s lives and make them feel safer in their own homes.
“Most days after our daily briefing I’ll be out and about, either on foot or in a marked vehicle, and straight to my areas in Radford, Canning, and the central areas of Nottinghamshire.
“After doing the job for nearly two decades I’ve built up those relationships with shop owners, members of the public and people will recognise me, wave, and sometimes even stop for a chat if they’ve got an issue.
“Building up those relationships, links and showing people we’re not just there to be the bad guys is so important in really making it known that we can be trusted and are always there to help.
“In the last nine years, I’ve been working with the neighbourhood policing team and the universities, to help resolve issues with street beggars, street drinking and engaging with students to provide crime prevention advice and visibly patrolling to deter break-ins in burglary hot spot areas.
“I’m a regular at community engagement events in and around the Radford and Lenton areas and am continuing to try and break barriers and build bridges with the different communities.
“I regularly visit places of worship, food banks, charities, and housing associations and help out where I can by carrying or delivering food and speaking to people.
“I’ve built up some really strong relationships with some of the local food banks including the SFiCE foundation in Raleigh Street, Radford, who offer free cooked meals, advice, health checks and a friendly face to homeless people – having these strong links with charities is so vital to putting the people of Nottinghamshire first.”
In the last year, PCSO Sandhu has also been working as a burglary reduction officer as part of the Safer Streets scheme.
His core role now along with his regular beat duties is to conduct antisocial behaviour and burglary risk assessments, identifying insecurities or vulnerable areas.
Thanks to his work in the city area and the national Home Office Safer Streets funding, houses have been target hardened and there’s been over a 40% reduction in burglaries in the Radford and Lenton area.
PSCO Sandhu added, “The Safer Streets scheme for me was always about putting the residents first, not just making the properties more secure but for residents to feel safer.
“Not only can they rest easier when going to bed at night but when away from home they can have fewer worries and concerns about the security of their home too.
“All the added security measures such as CCTV, Ring doorbells, locks and window restrictors prevent and deter burglars and opportunists from committing crime or looking for an easy break.
“Whether I’m a police community support officer, a burglary reduction officer, or even a police officer, the main aim is to keep people safe and that’s what we do day in, day out.”
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “PCSOs are invaluable to the force as they provide an additional uniformed presence and have a big impact on community engagement, which builds trust and confidence in the police.
“Their roles range from burglary reduction to tackling antisocial behaviour and working with partner agencies to problem-solve in our communities. “We have some exemplary PCSOs within Nottinghamshire Police who are hard-working, really well known in their areas and are absolutely committed to public service.”