There’s a new inspector in town and he is “here to stay”. Inspector Tom Stevens is now leading the Neighbourhood Policing Team at Grimsby West.
A Grimsby boy born and raised, he has strong plans to tackle the issues having the biggest impact on the lives of those that live and work here.
We caught up with him to find out a bit more about what makes him tick, as well as his plans for the area. Here is how it went:
Q: What made you want to become a Police Officer?
A: Growing up I always wanted to someday be a police officer. I tried a couple of different jobs first, working for Conoco (as it used to be called) and then for the local authority, but friends in the force were always encouraging me to apply, saying that it was a job like no other.
I’m glad I listened because they were right, it’s a vocation that cannot be matched anywhere else and for me, 15 years in, it still is a great job.
Q: Wow 15 years, has that always been with Humberside Police?
A: I joined Humberside Police in my early 20s and have never looked back or considered changing forces. The years have absolutely flown by.
As a Grimsby boy, born and raised, I have a real love of the area and a desire to do the best I can for the communities that live and work here.
I’ve seen many positive changes in the way we work over the last decade (and a bit) and really feel like I now have an opportunity, as an Inspector, to continue that legacy and keep making a positive impact in keeping our streets safe.
Q: Have you always worked in neighbourhood policing?
A: My first few years in the force were spent working in the response teams across North East Lincolnshire. In this role I dealt with almost anything and everything that needed a rapid response from the police. Coming onto shift in a role like that, you never know what your day is going to involve. It could be intercepting a burglary in action, supporting a victim who has just been assaulted or rushing to the scene of a collision.
It was very fast paced and rewarding work, but one thing that I always admired from afar was the brilliant work our neighbourhood policing team colleagues would do afterwards, to offer the wraparound care and reassurance needed after an incident had taken place.
This inspired me to join the local policing team in Cleethorpes where I began to build those important connections with residents and businesses in the area.
Since then I have had a couple of other roles at Humberside Police, I worked with the response team at Scunthorpe for a while as part of a project to help improve our response to reported crimes. I have also worked as an investigating officer, overseeing investigations to ensure the best possible outcomes were achieved for our victims, a skill which is proving invaluable in my role as Neighbourhood Inspector.
Q: And you say you’re from Grimsby, tell us a bit about growing up in the town you now police?
A: I am, I was born and grew up in Grimsby. I have so many fond memories of the town and I am pleased to be back here. I used to spend all my weekends around the Freshney Place Shopping Centre growing up and most of my pocket money was spent at Skelton’s Bakery on Victoria Street. If I wasn’t there I pretty much lived at the leisure centre where I played for the local Ice Hockey Team.
Q: Speaking of hobbies, what do you like to do to switch off when you’re not on duty?
A: I like exercising, both walking and going to the gym, though I do need to get back into it properly after enjoying far too much food over Christmas.
I also enjoy relaxing at home after shift, putting my feet up with the latest must watch show on the telly. Currently I’m working my way through Stay Close which I am thoroughly enjoying.
Q: So, as the new Inspector for Grimsby West, what are your priorities for the area?
A: My overall objective remains the same from everywhere I have worked, to tackle any crime and ASB that is causing harm to our communities.
On a local level, my priorities are focusing on policing the town centre and, with our partners, addressing associated crime and ASB within, and ensuring a strong response to reports of nuisance motorcycles, under Operation YellowFin.
In relation to both matters, I intend to run more days of actions targeting key areas to deal with the matters affecting the community. I will also be managing my resources to ensure that my staff are in the right places at the right time to take appropriate action against those committing an offence or behaving anti socially.
On first arriving, I want to ensure consistency to the teams and the community following on from the great work previously done by Inspector Martin Hopper. He has built a really strong team of dedicated individuals, who really care about what they do and the area they serve and I want to grow this legacy.
I intend to use this commitment to prioritise the issues that are causing the most distress to residents and will encourage my team to work on these matters, developing strong plans to create sustainable results. This will ensure that we don’t see the problems returning or further issues arising.
I am also keen to protect the vulnerable, by managing offenders in the community, diverting them from committing further crime and ASB. I believe this will help us build and maintain resilient communities which helps us to ensure public trust and confidence.
Q: What is your favourite part of being a police officer?
A: It may sound cheesy but honestly I just enjoy the whole experience of working for Humberside Police.
Our Chief Constable has revolutionised our working environment and culture which has delivered happy, confident and committed officers to work with.
I also love having the freedom to develop my own ideas to address problems, and it’s great when I see the outcomes that I achieve with the victims I engage with.
I appreciate this answer may sound unexciting to some, but having the ability to sort problems for a person in their time of need brings a level of job satisfaction that is hard to articulate.
Q: Finally, if you had one message for the local community, what would it be?
A: Please speak with us and let us know what you need or what is affecting you in your area. My teams work so hard every day and are guided by the information you provide.
I want to know about the issues that impact your community. I want to provide assurance on consistency. I am here to stay and I want to get to know exactly what all the local communities need and how they feel working with us.
I want my staff to work in the right areas in the community and be readily accessible- be that online, at the station or in local pre-arranged sites for your convenience and need.
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