A SOLIHULL police officer has helped prevent and reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB) in a borough McDonalds.
Police constable Sophie Harris was alerted to several reports of ASB inside the fast-food restaurant including smoke bombs being set off and diners being sprayed with fire extinguishers.
PC Harris, who had temporarily been promoted to second in command of the St Alphege Neighbourhood Policing Team, organised for a rotation of police officers to be stationed at the restaurant as an initial deterrence and to support McDonalds staff.
As part of her work in Operation Crestline, West Midlands Police’s initaitive to drive down ASB, she then worked with Solihull Council, social services and community partners to identify those involved and deter them from re-offending.
Home visits were conducted and PC Harris, alongside Police Community Support Officers and other policing colleagues, also visited several high schools and colleges to deliver talks on ASB, explaining the impact on the community and policing.
Almost all the youths that were visited did not re-offend and the number of reports of ASB in the local McDonalds dropped by 78 per cent in the six-month period following the operation.
PC Harris joined West Midlands Police in 2020 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme.
She has also received a Commander’s Neighbourhood Policing Unit Award from Chief Superintendent Ian Parnell, for her work organising a force-wide recruitment and engagement event which saw 750 members of the community attend.
PC Harris said: “This piece of work coincided with a two-week period in which I stepped up to support the team as second in command, while two senior colleagues were temporarily seconded.
“The operation also helped us build a stronger relationship with the staff at McDonalds, who said their confidence in their local policing team increased thanks to our work.”
Inspector Angus McPherson said: “PC Harris has shown strong leadership skills, engaging with others in the team and always supporting her colleagues with a calm and gentle approach.
“It’s incredible that she only has a year and a half of policing experience under her belt. I am sure she will move up the ranks quickly and I can’t wait to see her continue to make a positive impact in her community.”