Being a front line police officer is with without a shadow of a doubt one of the most challenging jobs in London today. Their role is vast and can be complex, yet these Metropolitan police officers are trained to deal with multiple challenges and have amazing skills to tackle violent offenders to desperate mental health sufferers who have no one else to turn to.
In an interview with the Havering Daily, East Area’s Head of Response Policing Gerry Parker, tells us about the everyday complexities his officers face and ultimately how well they deal with them.
“Response policing is very challenging, it is the public’s first view of us and is the cornerstone of policing. As police officers we are there to protect life and property but our focus is always the victim. Most times officers don’t have huge amount of information on what has happened and do rely on the public to tell them.
“For response officers no day is the same. Officers deal with serious injuries, often being the first on scene to provide that vital first aid, to investigating crime and even supporting the most vulnerable in our society who really need help. A day on a response team is extremely diverse and the trauma my officers witness and often experience is high.”
Front line officers officers have no respite what so ever. Their role is full on, answering call after call and now sadly have the high probability that they may also get assaulted for simply doing their job.
“The number of assaults on our officers has increased and these assaults are entirely unacceptable and I know we will all move Heaven and earth to make sure the perpetrators are bought to justice. We have an operation called Operation Hampshire to support officers who have been assaulted. Luckily it is a small part of society that wants to assault officers.”
Sadly assaults on officers is seeing an upward trend and this is something that needs to be stopped and those who choose to do these cowardly acts need to face tougher sentences.
Mr Parker continued:
“I have huge admiration for all my response officers, they have to deal with so many different aspects everyday. It really is a complex and diverse side of policing. These officers are multi skilled and work incredibly hard and they are the public’s first view of the police. There are times we get it wrong but more often than not, we get it bang on right.
“I lead 600 response officers here in East Area, our busiest time is generally a late turn when we see the highest demand. These officers work 9/10 hour shifts and often land up being retained and sadly don’t get much time to go home and see their loved ones.
“Their commitment to policing is total. They face danger everyday and run in to danger on a regular basis and do this day in and day out. They face huge pressure, public scrutiny and pressure from social media.
“Social media has come to the full but yet our officers do their job without fear or favour. It is to our advantage when we are filmed and often we ask the public for this footage to help us solve crimes.”
Despite the situation, despite the weather, despite pandemics, these officers are always there and will always be there to respond to that life saving call for help.
Mr Parker finished:
“Ultimately we are here to protect the public and my officers get it spot on right more than wrong.”
Thank you to all of you putting on that uniform today and going out there to save lives and risking your own for us.