A number of National stories such as Hillsborough and Plebgate to name just two have appeared over recent weeks in the National Press that put the police service in a poor light. These are news worthy and quite rightly need addressing but they are not reflective of the wider police service. It sometimes feels that these stories make all police out to be corrupt –they are not. Men and women who join the police service which includes a number of civilians and uniform staff are drawn from the communities we all live in. As they reflect society inevitably some of these people will bring the police service into disrepute but it is not reflective of the vast majority of the rank and file.
Staff have to deal with some awful stuff:- telling family that a loved one has been killed in a road accident, going to suicides, dealing with victims of abuse both child and adult, having to deal with the drunk who wants to knock their heads off. Then there is the family impact of the job:- they don’t always make it home on time and often have to tell partners that they will be late off again and that they won’t be able to make that family function or planned night out. They can’t talk about some of what they have dealt with but still have to process it.
Police staff don’t set out to do a deliberately bad job quite the opposite but at times will get it wrong –not because they are corrupt but because they are human. Good news does not appear to be newsworthy but every day officers and staff do a fantastic job and make a difference to the communities they serve, in sometimes very difficult circumstances. This week I have received 3 thank you cards from people who have experienced this. I have added them to a thank you board we have to remind staff that they are making the difference they all signed up to make. I want to thank everyone who takes the time out to say thank you to staff.-it may seem quite a small gesture to send a card or letter but it makes a huge difference to those receiving them. This week we had a work experience student with us and she got to see that human side and quickly learned police officers do struggle at times but also their commitment to Melton to help make it a safe place to live. Satisfaction amongst people who use our service in Melton is high with 87% for crime and 93% for Anti Social Behaviour. Of course some are dissatisfied and it is my job to try to address this but the majority are very pleased with what my staff provide.
So next time you come across my staff and you do feel that you are pleased with what they do then it makes a huge difference if you tell them.
Inspector John Gray
Melton Police Commander