Western Park Gazette Dec 2018The Western Park Gazette is YOUR local community magazine and keeps you informed about all that's going on in West Leicester.

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From food manager to headset hero – the call that put one of our dispatcher’s worldwide trip to a halt and changed her life for the better in helping her county one call at a time.

Jennifer Dalton was two months into her year long trip around Australia when she received a phone call saying she had been successful in her job application to become a dispatcher in Leicestershire Police’s Contact Management Department (CMD).

CMD receives all emergency and non-urgent calls. Based on this excellent news, Jennifer decided to cut short her trip and embark on a new adventure back at home.

As part of our ‘Unsung Heroes’ campaign, celebrating the staff in various roles in CMD. Jennifer, who is now 36 and has worked for the force for 12 years, reflects on her role; the support from her colleagues and why she loves what she does.

Jennifer said: “Every day we change lives, educate people and help individuals for the better.”

Starting her career in hospitality – she worked her way up to deputy food and beverage service manager at a hotel in Hinckley. Jennifer decided she was ready for a career change and wanted to do something that was more rewarding. She joined Leicestershire Police in 2006 and has thrown herself into her role and voluntary work alongside and outside her work.

Jennifer took emergency 999 and 101 calls for 6 months in her initial training period before moving onto the dispatch team, where she now controls which resources are sent out to attend an emergency and assesses how urgent the job is in the first moments of the call.

Jennifer became curious to see what events unfolded at the scene of the calls she sent response to, she decided to volunteer as a Special Constable for five years where she worked closely with the Patrol and Resolution Teams (PRT) dealing with emergencies alongside regular officers.

Alongside this, Jennifer’s contribution to giving up her free time doesn’t stop. In 2017, she won a Chief Constable’s Award (The Harry Wileman Award) for her leadership in a local girl guides’ group. She coaches the group of 10-14yr old girls, helping them to develop life skills and confidence in different tasks and sessions.

Jennifer also uses her coaching skills to tutor new starters in our force too. She underwent intense training to be a tutor and says the task of being one step ahead in mentoring the training when in real life, fast paced scenarios can sometimes be stressful. Unlike training in other jobs, where errors can help learning, the staff training in CMD can’t make mistakes in emergencies.

Some calls can be really sad and traumatic, Jennifer speaks of how one call can change the atmosphere in CMD on that shift and so colleagues support one another to keep each other staying positive and doing the best they can do.

Jennifer said: “We’re here for a very long time with the same people. Our shifts are the same across the four days period for twelve hours. “We’re like a little family, everyone supports everyone here and that’s what makes this job special.”

Do you feel inspired by Jennifer’s story and want more information of what it takes to work in CMD? For more information please visit our website

A few successes at court over the past few days as more than £6,000 was forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) after being seized at two airports.

On 24 June 2018 a parcel was detected passing through the parcel hub at Stansted airport from Zimbabwe to an address in Northampton.

The parcel was declared to contain documents, however upon inspection, £4260 was found in an envelope. The cash was seized and a detention order was granted.

Both the sender and recipient were contacted; the sender didn’t respond and the recipient claimed the money was sent to her to buy a new car. When it was pointed out that the cash was undeclared, contact from the recipient ceased, no one attended the forfeiture hearing and on 16 January the order was granted at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.

On 28 June a 30-year-old man was stopped at East Midlands airport as he headed for his Poland bound flight. He told the ports officers that he had £1990 cash on him, which he claimed to have earnt, cash in hand, working as a builder.

He also said he’d withdrawn it from his bank account, but couldn’t remember his national insurance number.

The cash was seized on the suspicion that he had failed to declare income to HMRC and an investigation was launched by East Midlands Special Operations Unit’s Disruption Team.

It was found that he hadn’t declared any earnings since 2016 and there were no records of the cash withdrawals – in fact he’d never had that amount of cash in his account.

The builder never engaged with the investigation and didn’t turn up to the forfeiture hearing, resulting in the order being granted at court on the same day as the cash from Zimbabwe.

Hannah Stovin, Disruption Team Manager, said: “This is another great example of the work that we continue to do across the region and how effective our collaborative efforts with partners such as Border Force can be.

“This isn’t out of the ordinary for us, we will continue to have an unscheduled presence at the airport and be ready to investigate when stories don’t quite add up.”

Martin Hendy, Border Force Deputy Director for Central Region, said: “Depriving criminals of their wealth disrupts organised crime, which is why Border Force officers work with law enforcement colleagues to tackle the flow of illicit funds. Any cash forfeited is returned to the public purse.

“These examples highlight the excellent and productive working relationships that make a real and tangible difference to the East Midlands public. Together, we continue to tackle crime at the border.”