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Q&A: Community policing in St. Helier...

Q&A: Community policing in St. Helier...

Thursday 28 January 2021

Q&A: Community policing in St. Helier...


After 20 years working for Merseyside Police, Steve Young joined the local force. Having been in the Community Policing Team since, he has now become one of the six officers dedicated to the Parish of St. Helier.

The States of Jersey Police announced last year that each of the island's 12 parishes would have their own community police officers.

The aim of the new role is for officers to build relationships with everyone from residents to retailers in each parish to help address the issues that matter most to them.

Each month, Express will be introducing you to one from each parish. This month, we start with St. Helier's Steve Young...

St Helier Community policing team

Pictured - from left: St. Helier Community Policing Team members PC Joe Richardson, PC Andy Buxton, PC Karen Shatford, PC Phil Downes, PC Steve Young and PC Aidan Wharton.

When did you join the force and why?

I originally joined in 1998, and that was in Merseyside Police. So I had done 20 years in Merseyside and then transferred to Jersey in 2018.

I joined the police back then, as a lot of police officers say, to try and make a difference, to engage with communities and do a job that I pretty much had loved to do from an early age.  

What appealed to you in the role of the Community Police Officer? 

When I transferred to Jersey in 2018, I was originally placed in the Community Policing Team and that was down to experience previously in Merseyside Police where I was in the Neighbouring Policing there, tackling organised crime groups alongside young children and the youth to try and divert them away from crime. 

How does the role of the Community Police Officer compare to that of a ‘regular’ Police Officer?

At the very heart of the community, it’s about engagement. It’s about getting out in the community, speaking with the community, finding out what the issues are in that community, looking at the root problems and how we can use a ‘problem-solving’ approach in order to eradicate that problem.

Steve young St Helier community policing team

Pictured: PC Young says the role of a community police officer is about "being visible out in the town".

It’s about being visible, out in the town, out in the parishes. It’s delivering a service that the public expect, and having police officers they can to if they’ve got issues so we can spend time and deal with that problem, and not just take it down and not deal with it.

How did your first shift go and what did you get up to?

The first shift was great - I got back into the town centre, went alongside the shop owners, introducing myself, telling them we’re up the road, leaving our details with them so if there’s any issues they can contact us, building that relationship back with the public and the trust back with the public.

It was pretty much as we planned it would go, stopping people, speaking to people.

What does a typical day look like?

You come on duty and find out what my issues are from the previous day, look into emails from the public in relation to what’s happened, what’s going on, what issues, what their concerns are.

So, I read that and consult with them - don’t leave it a couple of days, make sure we make an early contact with them - and discuss the issues, find out what they want from the organisation and give them what we can deliver. 

Steve young

Pictured: PC Young spends a lot of his time engaging with the community and local shop owners when on duty.

Again, it’s pretty much a walk in the beat really, stopping as many people as we can and engaging with them. 

How have people reacted to seeing you out and about?

It’s been very, very positive. They are pleased to see us, they have noticed a big difference in more police officers walking around, which is what we are setting out to achieve first - make sure we are visible to that public so if they see us in the street, or anywhere in the island, they can stop us and engage with us and we can stop and engage with them, and we can identify something very quickly.  

Are there any particular issues you would like to tackle, or problem areas you want to address in St. Helier? 

We do have an issue with anti-social behaviour in town at the moment. But, again, it’s all about working with the young people who are causing those issues.

We work alongside partners, such as Education, to try and divert them away from anti-social behaviour. We’re involved with the Youth Service - I have a meeting with the Youth Service this week to discuss a couple of problems we have.

stheliertownhousingpropertymortgage.jpg

Pictured: PC Young says he loves working in town because he can engage with all sides of the community.

It’s engaging with them, making them understand what the implications are to the general community and the public. Not just for us to meet them about giving them a hard time, it’s about engaging with them, getting the youth to trust me as a police officer in town, looking at what we can do to diver them away from any anti-social behaviour. 

Do you have a favourite place in St. Helier? 

I like Jersey as a whole really. I didn’t know what to expect when I came here but I love the island, I enjoy the people on the island, they are all pleasant and nice. I like town because it’s a busy area and I can speak to the community, I can engage with the community and the local shops, work with the shop owners about any issues that they have.

Generally, I like the island as whole but I do like working in town. I just like walking and visiting as many shops as I can and speaking to vulnerable people as well and see what we can do with them - we can’t forget that there are vulnerable people in the island. It’s all about, for me, the engagement with all sides of the community.

To contact PC Steve Young, you can call 01534 612422 or email sthelier@jersey.pnn.police.uk.

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Posted by Donal Dolo on
the problem is there is no community in jersey
Posted by Philip Hudson on
Good luck with this one
Huge job ahead for you guys
Trust and respect of police must be at an all time low.......
Building relationships !!!?????
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