PCSO Mohammed Hasif has been with Bedfordshire Police for the last eight years. As a Muslim officer he shares the challenges he faces as his religion and role come together during the Ramadan celebration.
The role of a PCSO during Ramadan can be very demanding – however the key is to adapt. Show patience and the body will adapt naturally.
Ramadan can be difficult both mentally and physically. A couple of weeks before, I tend to eat and drink less so when it comes round to complete fasting, it is not as challenging.
I often feel tired on shift during Ramadan, mainly due to a lack of sleep as I need to wake up during the early hours of the morning to say my prayers and to close my fast. I try to overcome this by resting when I can.
The biggest challenge is the lack of water – which is worse when it is a hot and humid day. Wearing body armour in this weather can be painful.
One shift I was working during Ramadan and was placed on a road block after a fatal crash. I spent a total of six hours at the scene on a hot summer’s day. The lack of food and water meant I almost fainted and my sergeant had to check I was ok!
The force is flexible and more than happy to work with me to help meet my religious needs while ensuring I still play an important role in policing.
Apart from the month of Ramadan I don’t believe my religion impacts on my job.
I have been a PCSO for eight years now and really enjoy my job; it has given me a good insight into police work. My primary role is to conduct high visibility patrols, actively seek intelligence and engage with the community.
What I like about being a PCSO is I get to plan my day and have the opportunity to visit both the local schools and shop keepers. I drop in for a quick chat or discuss issues in the area over a cup of tea.
As PCSOs we rely more on our communication skills, as we are limited in terms of our powers.
Being visible on the beat achieves a good response from the public. It makes them feel safe when they are getting on with their day to day business. I tend to find being on hand and seen in an area over a period of time means people open up to me and trust is built both ways.
The most challenging aspect of the job is trying to engage with hard to reach communities which require persistence and patience.
But gaining their trust and building relationships in those communities can also be the most rewarding part of my work.