Wendy in police uniform: ready for work as a special constable
in Bowthorpe, Norwich
Name: Wendy Pope.
I’m divorced, a single mum with two children: a son, aged 15, and
a daughter, aged 12.
you live? I live in Norwich and have done so all my life.
I’m a cook/manager at a Norwich first school and cook around 70
lunches a day. I work for Norfolk County Council and have done so
for about seven years. I work 27½ hours a week. I order the ingredients
to make the meals. I also do the accounts and budgets.
How do you
fit being a special constable in with your work?
Council is part of the STEP scheme [Specials Through Employers Partnership]
that allows employees who are special constables to have paid time
off work to carry out police duties.
Wendy at her day job - organising the accounts
I don’t take
mine in a large lump, as this would cause problems - there's only
myself and another lady. So
I take mine in small bits at the end of the day before going on
duty as a special.
My rank as a
special is constable and I am stationed at Bowthorpe section box
in Norwich where I’ve been for three and a half years.
Why did you
join the specials?
I had some
problems that needed the police's help. I was so pleased with that
help I felt I wanted to give something back as just saying thanks
didn’t seem enough.
What do you
get from being a special?
has grown and the pleasure you feel when you walk away from somebody’s
house or a job knowing you’ve helped is unexplainable.
Before you turned
up someone was troubled, scared, hurt or just didn’t know what to
do. Some people think I’m mad for doing this job for free but they
can’t understand what I feel because they are not me.
domestic violence. I know what it’s like to feel fear when your
husband's come home from the pub and had one too many.
Being able to
advise someone in the same position and tell them what they can
do is all the payment I need. This does work the other way too with
women beating up men.
biggest incident you've dealt with?
It was in a
village near Norwich. We had a call to a domestic argument. When
we arrived two regular officers and I were speaking to the lady
when a message came over the radio to get the lady and the officers
out of the house. The man had a gun.
I grabbed the
lady, put her in front of me and ran with her down a passage.
My only thought
was, "I’ve only had my body armour three weeks and I’m about to
get a hole in it!"
When the lady
and myself were safe in the car I got her to draw a picture of the
gun and a plan of the house.
When the firearms
squad arrived I briefed them all.
I could not
believe I did all this, as I was only a special. I felt all the
way through that somebody was going to take it all away from me.
I thought the
regulars would take over, but they left me to it.
your after thoughts?
I was so proud.
To think only a few years ago I was that shy girl in the pub not
saying much. Not now!
Steven Newson's work as
a special and how he coped with a road accident
could become a special constable and how employers can help
Check out Norfolk
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