I have written many times of my respect for the emergency services and the people who may have to put themselves into the face of danger on a daily basis. It is not something I could do and I am sure that is a view many people have. One of the reasons I have worked in the police service for almost 17 years is because I feel I can help and support using my communication knowledge.
In recent weeks the job has been incredibly challenging for a whole range of reasons. It has felt overwhelming at times and has needed me to take stock, plan and get more organised. There have also been times when it has necessitated me working some long hours, and weekends. Not just me, I know that many of the wonderful team I work with have had to do the same.
I wondered today why we do it and also why we put so much into it. This is beyond professional pride and sometimes can verge into obsession.
Now I don’t know if I can sum up why I love my job in a way that everyone can understand. But this week a number of things happened that have illustrated the point. On Monday morning I heard from a member of the PR team that work they have been doing to educate about crime to specific groups appears to have led to a decrease in that crime. It seems the messages that had been given are really getting through and have meant fewer victims, which is an amazing thing.
Also this week the Press Office publicised the sentencing of a man who had been convicted of a rape that took place more than 30 years go. It was a great bit of police work and the skills of the communication team ensured it received widespread publicity. Hopefully, it will help the victim, will encourage more people to come forward if they have been a victim, and has increased confidence in the police.
We have had a whole range of analytics presented during the week that have shown the impact of the activity. I am always careful that we don’t drown in the analytics but instead try to focus on what matters, which are the outcomes.
Finally, the team issued an appeal to find a witness to an incident that occurred. The details were issued to the media and circulated through social media. All run of the mill daily activity. It was great to hear slightly later that someone had handed themselves in to assist as a direct result of seeing a social media post.
Those are all examples this week of why working in communication for the police is one of the most rewarding roles I think you can do. It is being able to make this direct impact helping victims and supporting those amazing police officers that keeps us working the long hours. My respect for those on the frontline has never diminished and I hope I can play a small part to help them keep doing what they do.