Our next interview shining the spotlight on officers and staff working in our Control Room this festive season is with CMARC Officer Cheryl.
“We do everything in the room including dispatching, answering 101 and 999 calls, as well as working on DigiDesk, answering Facebook, Twitter, and website contacts, as well as monitoring all of the Covid reports that come in to us.
“Domestics are the biggest thing we deal with at Christmas. More and more people are becoming aware of controlling and coercive behaviour, it’s making people think about how those close to them make them feel.
“We recently launched a domestic abuse form on our website, we want as many people as possible to be able to contact us and don’t want those that perhaps experience a long wait on the 101 line to change their mind about reporting something to us. We wanted to give people the option to write what has happened to them. Online, they can speak in their own language and give more information, rather than being prompted with questions.
“I’ve worked for the force for 14 and a half years now. Working here for so long I think I have a lot of empathy for people, you have to have the ability to move from ‘I’ve been stabbed’ to ‘my milk has been stolen.’
“Looking back on the year I feel really lucky as I wasn’t furloughed, it’s one pressure others have had that I’ve not had to worry about. It’s a hard job to do regardless of what we work at Christmas, but we all know we are very lucky to have a job to come back to in the new year, and I think we are all really grateful for that.
“I’ve worked probably half of the Christmases I’ve worked here for. I’ve got three children and they are still quite young, but I knew we’d be in this position when I took the job. It’s a good compromise that if you have Christmas off you will work NYE, work are really good at ensuring you get some time off at this time of year.
“Coming in to work at Christmas is really important to people, we are a group of colleagues of different ages, different skillsets, that live in different parts of the county, you don’t know what is happening in their private life. They might not have anyone at home and look forward to the atmosphere at work.
“My children are quite young still so I do miss the quality time with them and my husband. Having small children, I like the build-up of Xmas Eve, we like putting out the reindeer food, carrots and mince pie, I hope as they grow up they will remember I was there, and not always at work! They are old enough to understand where I’m going, my six-year-old daughter thinks I catch robbers, that’s what she tells everyone at school!
“It is hard with the latest announcement as those that are at work on Christmas Day won’t get a break, the keyworkers that have been working none stop throughout the year don’t get the day - personally I have Christmas day off this year, we are celebrating as a family at home.
“This year I am working on New Year’s Day. It’s usually quite a quiet day because everyone is bed! But the demand will still be there, it will just be slightly different. My advice to people this year is to enjoy alcohol sensibly, don’t drink and drive, try to enjoy this Christmas being a little bit different and spending it with smaller group of people.
“What the job has made me realise is that the Christmases I do get off, I really appreciate. It’s the same when I get a weekend, I make the most of it, we make a lot of plans when I’m off. So I feel the same about Christmas, when I do get it off I think it’s that extra bit special.
“This year I am determined to really appreciate it. I am grateful that my kids have finally finished school with no isolation periods and we can enjoy the time together. The year has been hard for children too as well, life has been far from normal for them so I’m going to make sure they have a nice family day to enjoy after a tough year too.”
If you need us over Christmas and New Year, please contact us using one of the following methods:
• Facebook: Send a private message to
• Twitter: Send a direct message to the @DerPolContact account