Special Inspector Esther McLaughlin
Your latest Blog from your West Special Inspector, Esther McLaughlin, who covers the Caerphilly, Torfaen & Blaenau Gwent areas
If you follow us on Twitter you will have noticed the Specials have been busy!
We have been part of several successful drug warrant teams this month, seeking out and arresting those in our communities who grow and sell illegal substances. If you ask my team, many will tell you that this kind of work is exactly why they joined Gwent Police. We want to see drugs like these off our streets, and those who distribute them brought to justice. Working on these warrant teams is just one of the ways we can contribute to making our communities safer.
Another way we contribute is by policing large events. This month we attended the Cwmbran Stadium Anthems. Hundreds of people gathered to see DJs like Scott Mills from Radio 1, Ultrabeat and many others. We want these large scale events to be as safe as possible, so working with local neighbourhood officers we provided a strong Police presence and had a good time engaging with the crowds. Thanks to all those who came to say hello.
We have had Specials assisting with licensing operations, antisocial behaviour patrols, football events, and many more. We are a small team but we manage to be very effective with the resources we have.
Specials are amazing individuals who all share a common sense of purpose to serve the force and the public, whether on or off duty. I received an email this week praising the efforts of SC Sam Hemley, who whilst off duty, stopped his car to help at the scene of a road traffic collision in Somerset. Sam slowed the traffic down until the emergency services arrived, and stayed on to assist with the road closure until more local units could attend. Sam is a credit to my team, and is typical of the quality of officers we have in Gwent. Well done Sam.
Congratulations to several members of our team who have started their new careers as PCs in the last few weeks. Some people join the Specials for this reason, and we are proud to send them off well equipped to start their PC training. Specials work closely integrated with the regular teams, so we won’t miss them for long! They will be out working side by side with us again once they have been through their initial PC training.
Finally let me introduce you to Rob. Rob is well known in the force, and is an extremely dedicated officer. You will rarely meet a more committed Special Constable. Rob has served as a Special in Gwent Police for over 10 years, and recently received his long service medal.
Rob, why did you join the Specials?
I joined the specials as I thought I'd use this as a stepping stone into the regulars, but that was 10 years ago! I decided to stay on as a Special.
What is your day job?
As my day job I work as a supervisor in a food factory ensuring that the products are made to the right specifications, and that everyone adheres to the food safety rules.
What do you gain from being a Special?
Meeting new people, making new friends, assisting other officers, giving back to the community and the ability to be able to help others that need help.
What kind of shifts and operations have you been involved in recently?
Recently I've done normal response shifts, licensing operations and JRU shifts,
Response - assisting other officers, scene guard, foot and mobile patrol, arresting individuals, going to custody, searching people and property and more.
Licensing Operations - visiting pubs, clubs and off licences, doing test purchases, checking ID, and using the ION track machine to test for illegal substances.
Joint Response Unit – working alongside a paramedic to attend calls that require both the Ambulance Service and the Police.
What is it like working on the Joint Response Unit?
Brilliant. Assisting Paramedics with a variety of jobs such as mental Health, assaults, sudden deaths, road traffic collisions etc. We can go from a minor injury, to doing CPR, to a fatal RTC, then back to an assault. Sometimes it can be like a rollercoaster with highs and lows, you just never know what type of job we will see. We are often put in a unique situation assisting both Police and Ambulance at the same time.
Do you enjoy your role as a Special?
Yes I do. If I didn't, I wouldn't do it.
Rob is an integral part of the team, thanks Rob for your dedication and commitment to Gwent Police.
For daily updates, follow my team on Twitter @gpspecials
S/Inspector Esther McLaughlin