PCSOs connect with Wicketz community in Bristol
On Tuesday 21 November 2017, young cricketers at the Wicketz Bristol Knowle hub were offered an introduction to the wider community they live and play cricket in, courtesy of their Police Community Support Officers.
PCSO Higbey and PCSO Mair, who both work out of Broadbury Road, took time out of their busy schedules to meet the participants at the hub and have an informal chat about their roles in the community. At first the participants were a little unsure of what to ask, but the PCSOs soon found themselves bombarded with questions from why they became a PCSO, to their roles within the community and on to their collaborative work with the Avon and Somerset police force. All the participants were keen to find out as much as they could and both PCSO Higbey and PCSO Mair welcomed them to say hello and have a chat with them whilst they were out and about in their blue uniforms.
The PCSOs were then invited to stay and join the participants in a game of Five Bats; a quick game of soft ball cricket which involves all players. This was probably the first time any fear was seen the eyes of the PCSOs, who accepted the offer, while curiosity turned to glee for the participants, excited by the prospect of bowling one of them out or smashing them for a six.
If that wasn’t enough, PCSO Higbey and PCSO Mair made the participants day by inviting them to sit in the passenger seat of their police car, turn on the blue flashing lights and sound the siren!
As well as playing cricket, which builds confidence through learning new skills and making friends, the participants at the hub gained more clarity about the role of their PCSOs and a new-found respect as to why they are there in the community.
Crispin Shingler, Wicketz Development Officer, said: “The buzz created by the PCSOs coming to the hub was brilliant. It is very clear they care about their communities and want the best for the residents. For that to be communicated to the young people at Wicketz is very inspiring, provides social cohesion for their communities and breaks down barriers that young people may have towards law enforcement.”