The newest member of the Epworth-based neighbourhood policing team is bringing the world of community policing back to the Isle.
Think bobbies on bikes and pounding the street, that’s the vision for PC Mark Raper.
Mark, 53, has joined the central Axholme team having spent 11 years in the force, the last four on the instant response team.
Prior to this he had 22 years working in the RAF police force.
Mark has lived locally for 16 years, and is married with three grown up children who all attended South Axholme School.
He explained why he chose to move to the neighbourhood team: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
“I like to be out and about in the community, I want to be there to help people, that’s the aim really.
“My hope is to go back to the old ways of neighbourhood policing, getting out in the community more, actually talking to people so they actually know who their community bobby is.”
Mark (above) plans to invest in new pedal cycles to bring back the once regularly seen sight of bobbies on bikes.
“We will be either on the bike or on foot which means we can engage with the community more and help them, and hopefully they can help us,” he added.
Among the main problems he is determined to tackle is anti social behaviour.
“It’s difficult for the youngsters to find things to do but they need to made aware of the effect they have on people,” he explained.
“They need to look at how they would feel if they were elderly residents in the same situation.
“We are asking them to have a little respect and try and think a little more about what they’re actually doing. Put yourselves in the victim’s shoes. Kids kicking footballs against walls, creating noise nuisance – think about how frightening this could be.”
With the start of the new school term Mark and his team are planning close liaison with South Axholme Academy and the central primary schools, holding drop in sessions for children to be able to have one to ones with officers if they have any problems they can assist with.
“Hopefully people will see a lot more of us out on the street, walking or out on the bike. That’s why I like community policing. It’s a completely different world from the incident response team – dealing with domestics, assaults, public order with Friday and Saturday night revellers, anything that comes in you have to deal with.
“I love it, I’m very passionate about my job and the area. Please give us a ring or email, whatever the problem, no matter how trivial you think it might be, that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help the community it’s as simple as that as far as I’m concerned,” he added.
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