In June 2007 PC Ray Bradley was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service to Avon and Somerset Constabulary in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. He was one of only two PCs in the country to receive this award. Ray is not your average PC as he operates from a police house. Hishouse is nestled at the foot of the Mendip Hills and only a short walk from Blagdon Lake. Not only is this his home but it is also his place of work.
He is not based at any of the force’s police stations but he operates from a residential beat station – a police house – in Blagdon in North Somerset.The house came with the job and Ray is one of the few officers left in the force to serve his community in this way.
Congratulations Ray. It-is nice to hear of an award for a dedicated bit of Policing that is not linked to any high rank but remains at the grassroots service delivery. This reflects the qualities that reflect the service of Policing a community that has almost vanished from the country because of the way the management and target driven culture have been dictated by those who put everything into a business comparison framework and forget that the Police provide a service for which, for the most part, cannot be measured in the same way that profit making entities operate. There are always costs that can be attributed to the various things we do but you simply cannot put a price on a quality service provision, Police, Hospital, Schools, Fire Brigade, Armed Forces and local services to the pensioners who have contributed for most of their adult life. All these things are essential.
When I joined the Police most of the uniformed officer performed their duty exactly in the same fashion as PC Ray Bradley. They were career beat officers, Community Constables. Some diversified and specialised in other areas, CID, Dogs Section, Traffic and the like. The main role was unifomed patrol, usually within the same beat area or from varying beats within a small sub-division of a larger division. Most stations also had canteens and divisional HQs had a club or bar.
How things have changed.
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