AN EXPERIENCED Dyfed-Powys Police officer who has ‘found his calling’ in Neighbourhood Policing has been named the people’s champion at this year’s force awards.
Pembrokeshire PC Leigh Jones was nominated for the #WeCare award by members of the public for his outstanding service to his community.
In a career so far spanning almost 20 years, Leigh has worked as a Response Officer, a Firearms Officer and focused on tackling drug issues.
“His career path shows how he loved to be in the thick of the action,” said supervisor PS Mark Murray.
“So it was a great surprise to many when, two years ago, Leigh applied and successfully joined the Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), but he has very much found his calling.”
In a relatively short time, Leigh has racked up some notable achievements in the role.
Together with his PCSO team he was worked to build relationships with local young people, engaging with them in a positive way and earning their trust.
Through these interactions, diversionary schemes and closer working with youth services, Leigh has led by example in trying to reduce disruptive or antisocial incidents in the town.
Sarah Greener, who works for a local charity supporting people with arthritis, nominated Leigh for his helpful attitude and efforts to support the work of local organisations.
“He has helped get our name out to people and is always so keen to help us,” said Sarah.
“People often only think of the police when something has gone wrong, so seeing Neighbourhood Teams at positive local events helps break down those barriers and highlights specific things NPTs do, such as welfare checks.
“It makes them seem more approachable and more in touch with what is going on locally.”
A natural problem-solver, he led a multi-agency initiative designed to improve the quality of life for people in Haverfordwest: an example of best practice that caught the eye of senior officers and will be rolled out county-wide.
Leigh attends Pembrokeshire College regularly and has led initiatives dealing with issues such as bullying, drug awareness, drug prevention and more.
“Leigh is a great asset to Neighbourhood Policing and is only too happy to support response Policing when needed," said Mark.
“He never needs to be asked: if Leigh is on duty he will support and assist on every occasion.”
The #WeCare award is a chance for the public to nominate a police officer, volunteer or staff member and say thank you for their efforts.
It could be a local PCSO who has tackled a longstanding community matter, a police officer who has shown remarkable care towards a victim of crime, a school liaison officer who has guided a child through a difficult situation, or a friendly-faced public enquiry officer on one of our station’s front counters.
Dyfed-Powys Police Temporary Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said: “WeCare is a highly celebrated award because we really value the public’s feedback and are so proud to hear how our staff are making a positive difference in our communities.”