TWO new police officers are patrolling the streets of Rotherham — and they want people to go and talk to them.
PC George Szolin-Jones and PC Nicky Dewhurst have joined South Yorkshire Police after signing up to the graduate recruitment initiative Police Now.
George (22) will be on the beat in Dinnington and Nicky (30) is out and about in Eastwood.
Putting on the uniform has meant a big change for both of them as they have dropped other career plans for a life tackling crime.
George was a postgraduate student aiming for a research career and Nicky gave up teaching after seven years in the classroom.
George said his presence has already been welcomed in Dinnington.
“I don’t think there have been foot patrols there for quite a while,” he said.
“When Dinnington police station got closed down people felt a little abandoned but now we are back. I aim to bring trust and confidence in the police.”
George, from Nottingham, said that he and Nicky had completed special shifts with the Metropolitan Police during their training which had introduced them to many of the extreme situations they would come across in future.
He said: “When I put the uniform on I do feel a bit taller and feel I have got a purpose.”
George Szolin-Jones pictured on the beat in Dinnington
Nicky’s last job was teaching psychology at High Storrs School in Sheffield and she said that her experience in the classroom would help her deal with situations as a police officer.
Originally from Accrington, she will be patrolling Eastwood as part of the Rotherham Central team and said she looking forward to helping tackle the area’s challenges.
She said: “My other half said joining the police was a midlife crisis moment but I said it was not.
“There are a lot of parallels between teaching and policing. We are dealing with people in both, it’s just a different type of person.
“In Eastwood, there are specific crimes we need to face, for example burglaries and drugs, but also CSE issues and community cohesion.
“The biggest issue at the moment is community confidence in the area.
“We are both neighbourhood officers and the whole point is to go in and sort problems.”
Nicky said that her experience with the Met had showed her she could cope with traumatic situations like sudden deaths and suicides.
She praised her senior colleagues who had shown their support for the new recruits.
Nicky said: “It’s like a little police family. We have only been in Rotherham for a few days but it’s really friendly.”
Ch Insp Paul Ferguson, neighbourhoods and partnerships inspector for Rotherham, said: “We have chosen areas that experience very specific community issues and challenges that we feel require dedicated resources.
“The PCs will be working closely with the rest of the policing team, especially the PCSOs, who will share their extensive knowledge of the areas and their issues.
“We hope residents who live in Dinnington and Eastwood will engage with Nicola and George, work together to build relationships so that we can ultimately provide the best possible policing for the area.”