Monday, 11 January 2016

Policing Romfords Nightlife

When most people get ready for a night down Romford, they put on their nicest dress or shirt/jean combo, a pair of shoes and prepare for an evening of drinking, dancing and the 4am Kebab whilst waiting for a bus home. For a police officer, the routine is slightly different

Shirt and trousers, yellow jacket, boots and a hat. Not forgetting the radio, torch, first aid kit, sense of humour and most importantly..... patience

Our 10 hour shift starts at 7pm. Whilst many are still getting ready at home we are in the briefing room, being split into teams and given our specific roles for the evening ahead. Dinner is privilege and those who have done it before make sure they stock up on Redbull and Haribo for that 3am sugar/caffeine intake

The town is covered by extensive council run CCTV and our eyes in the sky are on hand to tell us when and where we are needed

On the local councils website they describe the nightlife in Romford as "the perfect place for a night out, whether you want a quiet pub drink, meal in one of the many restaurants or a dance in one of the nightclubs" and on the whole, this is a fair reflection of Romford on a Friday and Saturday night

As the crowds arrive we watch from afar. A mixture of over 15 bars, pubs and clubs attract 1000's of revellers into the town every weekend. The majority have a great time and go home at the end of the night a little worse for wear...... The small minority who don't are the ones who end their night in our company

But it's not just police officers and CCTV operators who are working to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable evening. We are often joined in the town centre by our colleagues from the Special Constabulary, St John's Ambulance and Street Pastors (people who voluntarily give up their free time on a Friday and Saturday night so others can enjoy theirs)

All integral cogs in a wheel which seamlessly kicks into motion be it someone who has fallen over, someone who becomes ill through too much drink or on lesser occasions to the first two, someone who has been assaulted or has assaulted someone else

This weekend saw us deal with all manner of incidents. Arrests in an environment of alcohol and crowded places are often inevitable. But in comparison to the number of people who arrive, have a great time and then leave, they are insignificant

From helping a female who had been assaulted by her boyfriend (suspect tracked by CCTV and arrested) a male who had fallen down two flights of stairs and cracking his head open (this one verbally abused me, my colleagues, St John's Ambulance and London Ambulance Service who were all trying to help him!) to being shouted at for not helping to find someones jacket which they left in a club. No two nights in Romford are the same. But one constant is the professionalism and dedication of those who work together so everyone else can have a safe and enjoyable evening

So the next time you're out in Romford and you see someone in a yellow jacket who looks cold, tired, annoyed or hungry, be sure to wave or say thank you for being here (a high five or handshake works just as well) because not everyone goes out partying at the weekend. For some it's just another night at the office!

Posted by 

PS Charlie Routley 26KD
Metropolitan Police Service
Havering Borough

Twitter = @MPSHaroldWood

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