"We've been impacted by the deaths of our colleagues"

New ways of working are being adapted by the Police due to the pandemic.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 9:00 am
North Shields Neighbourhood PC Amii Stewart.

North Shields Neighbourhood PC Amii Stewart has been sharing life on the frontline with her diary as part of the #BeatCovidNE campaign.

The 29-year-old said: “I’ve now received my first dose of the vaccine, the process was seamless. When I got the vaccine I hardly felt anything and it was done.

“Before the pandemic, as well as being a Police Officer, I supported families by assisting with day-to-day household tasks and shopping. The families I support have received their first vaccines and in my work capacity as a personal assistant for them, I’ve now received mine.

“After getting the vaccine I felt fine. During the night however I got pins and needles in my feet. I felt weak for about one day afterwards. After that I was fine. It's nothing to worry about.

“I’m so glad to have received the vaccine. I can now return to being a personal assistant for the families I support.

“At work, I’ve joined the Secondary Investigation Unit (SIU) for two weeks and I’m loving it. This department deals with interviewing suspects and building files for court proceedings.

"As a Neighbourhood PC I don’t deal with the Crown Prosecution Service on a day-to-day basis so doing placements like this helps to improve my skills. The SIU is of particular interest to me as I want to become a detective.

“As well as work, I’ve been studying for my postgraduate diploma and I am currently working on my final assignment. After I finish my probation in July, I’m going to take a short break from studying before working towards becoming a detective.

“Reflecting on a year working on the frontline I wanted to touch on how Covid has impacted the police.

"Day-to-day we’ve adapted to new ways of working and taken on new responsibilities but like every other blue light service, the virus has affected us on a personal level too.

“The force is a reflection of society. Although we wear a uniform we are vulnerable too. When you’re a police officer it’s said you have blue blood. It means we’re all family locally, nationally and globally. If one of our colleagues at home or abroad passes away we all mourn their death.

"During Covid, that’s never been more true. Throughout the pandemic, just like everyone else, we’ve been impacted by the death of colleagues. The virus affects us all.

“Despite facing these losses we have and we will continue to serve and protect. There are not many other jobs in the world where every day you put your uniform on and put your life on the line to protect your colleagues and the public.

"We know the risks when we join the force and are proud to serve our country.

“Throughout the pandemic, Northumbria Police has provided mental health support in addition to what’s available on a day-to-day basis.

"As a police officer I know I can always speak to my supervisors as they operate an ‘always open door’ policy to provide support and advice when you need it.

"There’s also peer management support on offer, post-shift debriefs and you can be auto-enrolled after a particularly hard shift or case to a programme of tailored support from counselling to therapy sessions.”