A Police Community Support Officer who patrols the streets of Blaenau Ffestiniog is “worth her weight in gold”
The praise came from Ann Griffith, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, who joined Delyth Edwards on the beat in the town centre.
The mother of two was one of the first PCSOs in North Wales when she signed up in early 2005 and she’s loved every minute of the job since then.
Delyth , a former shop assistant, said: “No two days are the same. You never know when you come into work what you’ll be doing.
“Since I started here, I’ve got to know a lot of people and I work closely with a lot of charities, schools and a lot of various other organisations.
“Because we know who we’re dealing with and because we know a lot of the local population, we can go and see people face to face and sort out whatever problems there might be because we know who we’re dealing with.
“I really love my job and I certainly wouldn’t go back to working in a shop. I’m very happy doing what I’m doing.”
After being out and about on the beat with Delyth, Ann Griffith was “very impressed” to see how she goes about her work.
She said: “Delyth is the face of North Wales Police to many people in Blaenau and it seems to me that everybody we’ve met knows her and that is fantastic because it gives you confidence that the police are visible on the streets.
“We’ve been in a local café where it was obvious that the proprietor and the customers there were very familiar with Delyth and were ready to share with her their problems and their issues.
“Although PCSOs have limited powers in one sense, because they know the community and they’ve got their finger on the pulse, they can nip problems in the bud before they become a crime statistic.
“I’ve seen a few instances of that already today. It’s clear people feel they can actually approach her, explain what the problem is and, very often, the problem is solved at source.
“If not, Delyth also has great connections with other agencies and finds a multi-agency solution to a problem very quickly.
“People like Delyth are local heroes because they serve their communities and in a sense have taken the place of the old local bobby.
“I think it is 10 to 12 years now since PCSOs been evident on the street and their worth is really shining through now. They’re worth their weight in gold.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Sergeant Iwan Lloyd Jones, the Gwynedd South Safer Neighbourhood sergeant.
He said: ” He said: “Because police officers have extra skills and extra investigative powers, they can be drafted away from their own communities to do specialist tasks.
“That doesn’t happen with PCSOs. They are embedded in the community and my personal view of their role is that they replace the old bobby on the beat in that they, they’re almost a celebrity within their own communities. Everybody recognises them.
“Most people will have the confidence in approaching them and speaking with them.
“If there are problems that they can’t deal with they will know who to turn to. A lot of their work is about identifying problems and putting something in place to deal with that problem.
“You can’t measure their work because a lot of their work is preventing things from happening, and you can’t measure what you’ve prevented really. Their work is invaluable.”
Somebody who agrees with that assessment is local resident Mrs Briallen Edwards, aged 87, who worked as a clerk for MANWEB and then at the Trawsfynydd nuclear power station before she retired.
She said: “I know Delyth, she’s a very good girl and it’s a great comfort to see her around.”