The first ever Lambeth Council special constable has hit the beat after the Metropolitan Police community safety initiative ‘BoroughBeat’ was launched.
Simon Parsons, a National Management Trainee employed by Lambeth Council, hit the Lambeth beat for the first time on Friday, January 8, and has been aligned to the Herne Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team where his mentor, and Lambeth BoroughBeat co-ordinator, Sergeant Tom Cornish, will oversee his community patrolling.
The 26-year-old, who has an MA in International Relations from Nottingham University, will be released by the council with full pay at least once a fortnight to carry out his policing duties, for a total of 200 hours per year. Simon plans to use his expert local knowledge to address residents’ concerns surrounding anti-social behaviour.
With the same powers as regular officers and wearing similar uniforms, special constables are everyday people who are prepared to give up their spare time to do something positive for themselves and the community. Simon acquired his skills at the Police training centre in Hendon and was released from the council in November to complete the 18 day course.
The BoroughBeat scheme now operates in more than half of all London Boroughs which is exclusive to council employees only. Simon will soon be joined by two other Lambeth Council employees who have recently completed the recruitment process and await training.
He said: “Learning how to police will be an exciting experience. I will be able to make a difference and see the immediate results of my work, whether it is helping an older resident feel greater peace of mind or arresting a suspected criminal.
“It is great that via the hard work of Sergeant Cornish and Lisa Hippolyte, we have such an outstanding initiative, and I would like to say a special thanks for all their hard work.”
Sergeant Cornish, who was instrumental in organising the initiative with Lambeth Council’s Lead Workforce Development Officer, Lisa Hippolyte, said: “I am delighted that Simon is joining my team on the Herne Hill ward. The fruition of this scheme extends and enriches our vital partnership with Lambeth council and underlines our shared interest in making Herne Hill ward streets, estates and parks even safer”.
Councillor Mark Bennett, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, added: “Simon is a credit not only to the council and police but the wider community as a whole. BoroughBeat is an excellent opportunity for ordinary people to make a difference within their local community and I am certain that Simon’s knowledge of Lambeth will be a real asset in tackling anti-social behaviour – a key priority of the council.”