BY PC LEE PATTERSON.
It has been just over a month now since the Southmead Beat team have been posted at the Southmead Road Fire Station. I am delighted to say that so far it has been a great success and for me personally it has been a big relief to be posted within seconds walking distance from the Southmead Beat. The team are all here now and we consist of two Beat officers and three PCSOs. We have had some time to settle in over the Christmas period and now we are all looking forward to spending more time on foot patrol.
It’s been a true reminder of how important it is to have neighbourhood policing near to the communities we serve. It was a frustrating time last year I have to admit, and I have already had examples of how much better it is to be nearby. The days can be planned a lot better which gives us more time to focus on the needs of the community without always having to factor in travelling time.
One example was just a couple of weeks ago when I had a call from a member of public. It was getting late in the shift. If I was still at Bridewell in the City Centre (where we were based after Southmead Police Station closed) I would have to be honest and say that I would have looked at my watch and put this off to the next day. It was not an urgent matter but just by being around the corner I was able to go and see them without having to consider travelling time. This of
course was great for the member of public but also it makes it easier to manage work load.
There will always be in-house policing priorities that will need to be taken care of, but I believe it is about balancing this alongside the priorities of the community. The team being visible and accessible in the area has always been key to getting this balance right.
We also have an enquiry office here at the Fire Station. The opening hours are 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday (closed 1.30 to 2.15 for lunch every day).
Listen online to Lee talk about his 20 years of policing in Southmead on BBC Radio Bristol’s the Emma Britton show; first broadcast on 24th & 25th January. Go to Lee’s item on Emma’s show here