‘Here’s your radio John but, whatever you do, don’t press the orange button by accident. It’s the emergency alert, and you’d have to buy everybody cakes if you did.’
I was out with one of our local police response teams, looking for crimes to tackle. But, after an initial ‘blue light’ run (great fun, but don’t try this at home kids), things had gone a bit quiet.
Not that I minded, of course. No crimes is a good thing, after all, and it gave me a chance to ask the ever-patient officers questions about what’s working, and what’s not.
Like whether the new police station out by junction 21 is better or worse than their old concrete block building in the middle of town. They say it’s better for reaching anywhere outside Weston quickly, but not quite so ‘part of the community’ for the town centre or seafront as they were before.
Or whether their new computer kit is any good. They say it wastes less time and cuts duplication to send digital information from a wi-fi-enabled police car, so they can handle more calls per shift than before.
Or how the accident and emergency night-time closure is having knock-on effects on the police. I already knew we need extra ambulance crews (it’s a really good argument for getting the service re-opened, because it’s more expensive to keep it closed) but, it turns out, it uses up a lot of police time and resources too.
So it wasn’t much like an episode of ‘The Bill’, I’m afraid. I didn’t have to run anywhere, or rugby-tackle anyone (much to the officers’ dismay). But I learnt a lot, and didn’t have to buy cakes either. Thanks to the entire team for looking after me and, on behalf of everyone locally, for everything you do to keep us all safe.