YOU might have seen them on patrol around the town and in the surrounding villages, but do you know who Melksham’s local Police Community Support Officers are?
Melksham News caught up with PCSOs Luke Hosken and Janet Gould to find out more about them and what their roles involve.
PCSO Luke Hosken, who covers the ‘Melksham Town’ area, has been a PCSO for three years, working in Melksham for the past two years.
“I cover everywhere in Melksham, except Bowerhill,” explained Luke speaking to Melksham News. “There are two ‘Melksham Town’ PCSOs, me and my colleague David Rowley. We try and get out as much as we can, going where we are needed.
“The role involves a lot of community engagement – foot patrols, talking to people, making sure people are okay, picking up any intelligence, checking on vulnerable people, going into schools and educating children, and generally trying to deter crime.
“Being out and about encourages those people that wouldn’t normally call the police to come up and talk to us and tell us what has been going on where they live.
“People appreciate seeing us out and about – and we often get compliments from residents.”
PCSO Janet Gould has been in the role for over 15 years in and around Melksham, with her focus for the past two years being the ‘Melksham Rural’ area.
“That’s all the villages around Melksham,” said Janet, “which includes Bowerhill, Semington, Berryfield, Poulshot, Keevil, Steeple Ashton, Bulkington, Broughton Gifford, Whitley, Beanacre and Shaw. It’s a huge area!
“My role involves keeping in touch with the rural communities, so I try to go on foot patrol as much as I can and attend local meetings – trying to be a visible presence, as that’s what the rural communities want. And as there aren’t as many commercial premises in the rural area, I can focus more on the community and supporting them.”
And Janet is happy to talk to anyone who sees her out on patrol. She said, “Some things are not essentially ‘criminal’ but they can be an issue that bothers someone, so I would encourage anyone to stop us and have a chat. We deal mainly with anti-social issues, like neighbourhood disputes and children misbehaving.”
Picture: Melksham’s PCSOs Luke Hosken and Janet Gould.