Friday 18 January 2013 Updated: 18/01 11:17
North Worcestershire Policing Commander, Supt Kevin Purcell's new monthly column for the Standard
THE FESTIVE season gave me the chance to work a number of night shifts on patrol with my colleagues who carry out that role week in week out.
My admiration for what they deliver has only been enhanced. For West Mercia Police the picture was similar across the whole of North Worcestershire.
In summary many people were out and about enjoying a meal, drinks and fun with family, friends and work colleagues. Most of this was done in good spirit by people who knew their limitations and after a good night out went home by taxi or designated driver slightly the worse for wear.
The vast majority of people were good humoured, complimentary to police officers and other people they came across.
The year on year message about drink driving was still ignored by too many people, a small number of people of both sexes wanted to fight and cause disorder and sadly drink-related domestic abuse was a constant throughout each and every day.
My officers received significant support from officers from our Special Constabulary, who deserve special mention. To give up time to police at any time is a great thing to do, to do so around such a family time is a very noble deed. Likewise the Pastor scheme that is present in
various locations across North Worcestershire. It is a privilege to see people. mostly of an older and very different generation, do what they do in a non-judgemental way at a time of night when many of the people they meet are behaving in a loud, drunken and occasional aggressive manner.
This year will be one of great change for West Mercia Police. There is significant planning under way that has yet to be agreed and finalised.
However I am sure whatever changes are made l can with my staff, our partners and most importantly our communities, continue to keep
North Worcestershire a safe place to live, work and play.
Finally a mainstay of policing has always been the humour that makes the role enjoyable and means we recognise the vast majority of people are good.
Whilst on mobile patrol with a colleague just before midnight on Christmas Eve we happened upon what appeared clearly to be a drunk driver.
The car was being driven in a very measured manner but the over-compensating at roundabouts and slowing up a little too much at junctions gave the game away. Our combined 30 years of policing meant we knew a drink driver when we saw one! On stopping the car, however, we discovered an elderly lady visiting the area to attend Midnight Mass. No drink, just a very careful lady looking for a church. She wished us a Merry Christmas and thanked us for looking after everyone so well.
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