It was all change for senior officers and staff from Cheshire Police on Friday.
Between 7am and 7pm officers of the rank of Chief Inspector and above, and police staff equivalent, went ‘Back to the floor’ to experience first-hand what their colleagues on the frontline face on a daily basis.
They were joined by colleagues from other agencies including the Chief Prosecutor for Merseyside and Cheshire (Siobhan Blake) and Tracy Ryan, who is Director of Prevention and Support for Children and Families at Cheshire East Council.
Every department was covered from neighbourhood policing and custody to forensics and the force control centre.
This was the fourth ‘Back to the Floor’ event to take place in the Force and the second time that colleagues from partner agencies took part.
Cheshire’s Chief had an early start with a 7am briefing in Macclesfield. He was then straight out on the beat with officers on response.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: "I frequently spend time on patrol but it’s important that other senior officers and managers also have the opportunity to do the same. I was pleased to see and hear the buzz from other colleagues who really embraced the experience of going Back to the Floor.”
Jane Norton, Force Solicitor, was out on patrol with PC Steve Kaminski. She said on the day: “I’ve been here in Macclesfield since 7am with PC Kaminski on patrol in the town. It’s been fast paced responding to incidents and has been a real insight into proactive policing. I have had a fantastic day.”
As well as attending neighbour disputes and an emergency domestic incident she attended a collision en-route back to the police station.
Throughout the day she also got to see PC Kaminski hard at work issuing a number of tickets, including one to the driver of a cement mixer who was driving while using a mobile phone.
PC Steven Kaminski said: “I found it to be a great opportunity to demonstrate the type of work we do during the course of a shift. I also found it very interesting to hear about the type of work the force solicitor undertakes on a daily basis and highlighted how varied and challenging their work load can be. Jane was very enthusiastic and wished to stay for the entirety of my tour of duty. I hope Jane found the experience as rewarding as I did.”
Chief Prosecutor, Siobhan Blake was at the Ellesmere Port Police Station shadowing detectives investigating a number of crimes and observing response officers out on the beat.
Siobhan said: “This has been a really positive day and excellent learning experience. It has been great to meet the team and understand the sharp end of our business.”
Tracy Ryan, Director of Prevention and Support for Children and Families at Cheshire East Council, was out on the beat in Northwich.
Tracy said: “There were lots of great ideas being generated from your frontline staff about how we can work more collaboratively together. I had lots of ‘light bulb’ moments.
“It was great, I really enjoyed it. It was great to see some Local Authority staff already working in the police station; you hear about it but never see it in action.”
Detective Chief Inspector Julie Westgate from the Force’s Professional Standards Department spent her day in the Forensic Department finding out about the high-tech equipment and expertise the CSI officers have to help officers bring cases to court.
DCI Westgate said: “I found my time spent in Forensics extremely informative. We are streets ahead in what we do in there and how professional, dedicated and keen our staff are.
“It made me feel very proud to be from Cheshire.”
Governor of Risley Prison Carl Bailey spent the day with Northwich Local Policing Unit, shadowing officers attending all manner of incidents and also had the opportunity to see a drugs raid in action.
Carl Bailey said: “Overall I found the whole experience enlightening, useful and unforgettable. Northwich Police should be proud of themselves, they deliver under pressure and maintain a healthy level of communications and interactions with the public against a back of drop of demanding situations."
Cheshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane said: "When possible I spend a day a week in local policing units understanding and working with front-line officers and staff. Being able to understand local issues and see the good work happening on the frontline is absolutely crucial. I fully support ‘Back to the Floor’ days and I’m pleased to see the number of senior officer and staff involved.”