Our Force Contact Centre does not stop nor slow down for Christmas and New Year. Our staff will continue to work hard to make sure you are safe this festive time.
Inspector Gareth Coombs will be Oscar One on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, working 6am to 6pm.
“I will see my children on Christmas Eve at my mum’s house – where I still get a stocking, even at the age of 39!
“I’ll make sure I do all the usual Christmas tradition with my children of leaving something out for Santa and Rudolph – I have heard that Father Christmas particularly enjoys a glass of Merlot at this time of year.
“This year will be my first Christmas working in the Control Room, although I have worked on Christmas Day many times in the past as a response officer and on-call.
“I am very much looking forward to it, it’ll be a new experience. We’ve all planned to bring in different types of food to share, and I have even bought some alcohol-free mulled wine I can heat up in our kitchen and some vegan cheese for my colleagues.
“I’ve been told that Christmas Day really picks up during the afternoon, when the main types of calls we get are sadly for domestic incidents.
“When I go home that evening, I am sure my mum will have saved me some Christmas dinner, even though I will probably be full from all the shared food during the day! And then Boxing Day will be a repeat of the same.
“I’d like to say to all the people of Bedfordshire, as I work taking 999 and non-emergency calls during Christmas, please treat other with kindness and embrace the season of goodwill.
“We will be here if you need us, but please look after one another in the way you would want to be treated, too.”
Dean Birch, who is the Force Contact Centre Supervisor and will be working on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day said: “I’ve worked for Bedfordshire Police for 24 years and probably worked 18 Christmas days during my service. If I haven’t worked Christmas Day then I’ve worked the rest of the festive period including New Year’s Eve.
“I’d like to say it’s just another shift but really it’s not! But we all treat it the same as any other shift with professionalism, understanding and effort. Sadly I think it’s got busier due to a change in the availability for those less fortunate in our communities who find this time of a year a real strain financially and emotionally.
“You do miss your family and friends knowing that around 2pm most people are sitting down to huge dinner, presents, company and laughter but you’re also with your work family friends and we try to make thinks as light hearted as we can with a few tunes in the background, enough food and snacks to put two stone on and the odd mince pie.
“It never ceases to amaze me how officers and staff, in the Force Contact Centre and response, accept their rostered duties over Christmas, knowing that only a few people can have leave as Christmas is not only a time for joy and coming together but sadly a time where many people struggle mentally with loss, remorse and the challenges and pressures that Christmas can bring. We’re here to help those people by talking to them, offering support, providing reassurance and listening.
“We save lives all year round, no day is different but at Christmas it’s even more poignant.
“We want people to be safe, treat those they love with respect, kindness and patience and above all, remember the message of Christmas – peace and good will to all.”
Our Force Contact Centre would like to wish all of you a peaceful, safe and warm Christmas. Thank you for your support this festive period and all year round.