FORMER reponse officer PC Gary Bracey will be back in his old stomping ground as he takes on new responsibilities as community beat manager for West Swindon.

PC Bracey served as a 999 response officer in Swindon for four years before joining the neighbourhood policing team last week, and is looking forward to a more pro-active approach to policing.

Born and bred in Freshbrook, he knows the area like the back of his hand and will return to his old patch as part of the beat.

PC Bracey said his time in response made him realise he wanted to conduct more thorough investigations and really get to know the people in his patch.

“I was fresh coming into the force as a response officer,” he said. “That is an exciting role, and I have learned all the core skills during my time there.

“When I first came in I had no real perception of how the organisation worked.

“But the longer I did response I realised that neighbourhood policing was a more pro-active role to be part of. “In response you turn up and deal with the situation, but you do not really get to know the person you are dealing with apart from making that first contact. In most circumstances you may never see that person again.

“This role gives me the opportunity to build up relationships within the community, and it is a much more varied job. Now if there is an issue in West Swindon I will be a face people know on the street.”

PC Bracey was drawn to the sector because of the team already in place and the operations that are ongoing in the area.

“I know the team here and they do a fantastic job, so it is great to know I will be joining a strong set.

“Part of the reason this area appeals to me is the priorities that have been set, namely drug supply, thefts and acquisitive crimes. “I have the opportunity to go out there and make a positive difference. If you stop the right people it is easy to see the results.

“As long as I can keep the public confidence up by keeping the priorities going that will be a good start.

“There are ongoing operations for drugs in the sector, and being part of the background of that helps you develop more as an officer.

“I grew up round here in Fresh-brook, so I know the area and some of the issues like anti-social behaviour. I know the back streets and roads, which makes my job that little bit easier.

“The West NPT as a whole are very successful, so it is good to have that team around me and hopefully help build on that success.”