Tuesday, 7 June 2016

I had always enjoyed dealing with neighbour disputes

Paul Swannell

I’m not sure whether I volunteered or whether I was press-ganged into working with TVP when I finished 7 years’ service as a PCSO in Newport Pagnell at the age of 61. I had always enjoyed dealing with neighbour disputes; something that most of my colleagues avoided like the plague. I suppose that having studied psychology at college and having been a former school teacher I was used to trying to sort out various issues and rifts.

I was asked by PC Dave Goodwin who runs the Anti-Social Behaviour team in Milton Keynes whether I would be interested in joining his small team and doing some mediation/ intervention work and that’s what I do. I have been in this role since September 2015 and deal with low level ASB cases which are given for consideration and approval from either officers, PCSOs or from Milton Keynes Council Housing team. Although the role was especially designed for me and is unique to MK, I know other areas within Thames Valley are interested in developing similar roles for volunteers. I can certainly recommend such a position. 

I work about 25 hours a month but obviously have to visit clients when it suits them. I enjoy the role very much working with a lively, humorous team at the Council. It gives me the opportunity too to work in conjunction with former police colleagues to try and resolve issues. In this way I still see myself as being part of the great policing family.

I have always believed (especially coming from a strong scouting background) that if you care and can help somebody live and lead a better life then you have done a good job. The police needs to be seen as such a service and that is how I see my role as a volunteer.

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