Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are a welcome presence for businesses and vulnerable people living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys over the festive period.

The message Dyfed-Powys Police is sending during their Christmas campaign, called #OpSanta, is ‘presence not presents’, and PCSOs are the eyes and ears of police in communities – building relationships and gathering information that is crucial to tackling crime and antisocial behaviour.

Haverfordwest PCSO, Rob John, said:

“There’s a team of six PCSOs covering the whole of Haverfordwest and we each have our own area to focus on. That helps with getting to know the community and giving them a trusted person to speak to when they’re worried about crime or antisocial behaviour.

“I cover the Garth patch so a lot of my work brings me to youth clubs and schools. It’s important the police have strong relationships with children and young people and I am able to spend time building those.

“In the lead up to Christmas we see shoplifting numbers rise in Haverfordwest, so I have spent a lot of time working with both independent and larger shops to understand the problems they face and look at how they can prevent thefts.

“Being physically present in the town means I know a lot of people and importantly they know me, so I am able to gather information about crimes when they happen.

“PCSOs also play a role in the search for missing people. We deal with many the public don’t hear about, and often they are vulnerable people.

“We sometimes come across missing people who we know through our day-to-day work, and are able to help build a picture about them, and where they might be. Then we can get out on foot and look for them.

“This role takes consistency and a lot of walking - I think the most steps I’ve clocked up in a shift is 23,000 (around eleven miles) – but I like what I’m able to contribute to the community.”

A campaign, called #ThoseInBlue, has been recognising the work of PCSOs and the value they add to policing this week (December 10th - 14th 2018).

Dyfed-Powys Police Temporary Deputy Chief Constable, Richard Lewis, leads the portfolio for PCSOs in Wales. He said:

“PCSOs are an integral part of the police family. It is different to being a warranted Police Officer, and is a career in its own right.

“PCSOs are not only the eyes and ears in our communities, but also help tackle problems which cause the most concern for people.

“PCSOs bring a wide range of skills and experience to the role and in the Dyfed-Powys area we have specialist PCSOs tackling rural crime, cyber crime and antisocial behaviour, and crime reduction experts.

“This Christmas, PCSOs will be a reassuring presence for some of the most vulnerable people living in towns, cities and villages across Wales.”

To find out more about the role of a PCSO and see behind the scenes of their day-to-day work, search #TweetMyWeek on Twitter.

The message Dyfed-Powys Police is sending during #OpSanta this Christmas is ‘presence not presents’. If you have concerns about crime or antisocial behaviour in your community, speak to a PCSO or police officer, or call 101.