In the lead up to New Years Eve, we are interviewing officers and staff that will be working in our Control Room.
Today, meet Natalie.
"This is my first year working for the force. I am a Call Handler answering 999 and 101 calls, and I will be working from 5pm on New Year’s Eve, until 2am into New Year’s Day.
“Somewhat sadly, it will be my first New Year’s Eve without seeing my partner at 12 o’clock, the first year we’ve not welcomed it in together, but this was always something that I knew would happen when I signed up for the job.
“Yes, it will be a break of tradition, but I will be doing a job I love instead. There is no point in being grumpy about it, when you sign up to the job you know that police work 24/7, so we are lucky to have this shift, and I know everyone working will make a special night of it and celebrate together.
“I wanted to join the force as I always wanted to be a police officer but didn’t think I would pass the fitness test! My sister saw the job for call handlers advertised, and I started working for the force in May and passed my training in September.
“Before working here I worked in retail, so I guess you could say I am familiar with working over the Christmas season! I always bargained to work on New Year's Day because it means I can have Christmas off.
“This year I am looking forward to seeing what kind of calls come in, and my colleagues all say that everyone comes together as a family so it will be nice to see what that will be like.
“I think we will see a difference in the types of contacts we get this year, if people aren’t out as much due to Covid I think we might be contacted more for things like noise nuisance, fireworks, and music from home parties instead.
“This isn’t the police’s responsibility, this would be the council. We have no policing power to go and tell people to turn their music down. Instead, people should use their local authority’s website to report this, and ours too as it will all come through to the same people, but not call 999.
“This number should only be used in cases of emergencies. Tensions can be high on the emergency number, and some people can be agitated when they don’t understand we are taking more details to help with the situation. But as I said, this year might be a bit different.
“I’m used to getting challenging customers from my time in retail. That used to be face-to-face so over the phone might just be a bit better!
“I got told in training that I have an ability that nothing seems to phase me. If I get a stressful call then I stay calm, deal with it, and just get on with it. Scary calls get your heart racing, but at the end of the day I know how to deal with it and take it on the chin. I’m ready to learn more and to see what the future holds for my career.”
If you need us over the Christmas and New Year, please contact us using one of the following methods: