Officers walked several miles into work in the snow
THE cold weather and snow has been a challenge to most people and officers from the Fishponds beat team are no exception. As soon as the snow was forecast preparations were made to ensure that normal policing could be carried out with little or no disruption to residents.
One of the first things we put into place when severe weather is forecast is to make sure that there are the appropriate vehicles available so we can respond to an emergency even in the most remote or difficult places.
So 4x4 vehicles are put on standby, station back yards are cleared of snow and grit is placed down to ensure vehicles can get out of the station safely and quickly.
We also a need to ensure that officers have reported for duty so that there are enough available to drive the police vehicles in the first place.
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Anyone who can get to work by whatever means possible is expected to do so.
Those who live further afield can opt to report to their own local police station where they will be expected to assist that relevant district in providing cover if needed.
It is at times like this when I think everyone shows a great deal of resilience and understanding.
I know of officers who walked several miles into work, having to leave several hours before their duty started to ensure they arrived on time and they were there to help when called upon.
Residents appeared to show common sense and called out their local police only when they really needed to, and the routine callers were understanding if we turned up a little later than normal due to the road conditions.
In severe weather the safety of everyone is paramount and although emergency calls were always responded to officers, understandably had to take greater care in getting to those locations.
But a few minutes late is always better than not getting there at all, and I am not aware of anybody not receiving the appropriate level of response when we were called.
The usual nuisance calls concerning the throwing of snowballs kept coming in well into the evening.
And minor reports of criminal damage associated to these types of incidents were also reported. Along with heavy goods vehicles becoming stuck on inclines or minor roads.
Officers were sent out to assist where possible or close the road whilst a plan of action was put into place to recover the stuck vehicle.
But in general it appeared that everyone took the opportunity to enjoy themselves or stay in the warm confines of their homes and wait for the snow to pass.
At the end of the tour of duty officers are then seen leaving their respective stations facing the long walk home and dressed as David Hempleman Adams.
But they are determined to make sure they are available to do it all again the following day if required.