One of the amazing winners of this year’s Clean, Safe and Green Communities Award at Harrow’s Heroes 2022, PCSO Lee O’Brien, spoke to Harrow Online about his role in the community this week.
Before Lee joined the police, he worked in other public-facing roles in both the leisure and retail sectors, never expecting to join the Met. Based at Pinner Police Station, Lee and his colleagues are currently working to tackle drug-related activity in Montesole Park and the surrounding area along with working to protect the elderly from car park scams and handbag thefts in local supermarkets.
Harrow’s Heroes take place annually to recognise the people that go that extra step to make our borough a better place to live and work via their contributions to the community, Harrow Online had the opportunity to find out more about Lee and his role as a PCSO based in Pinner.
Can you tell us about your position, when did you start?
“I have served as a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) for sixteen years. My role is to provide a visible police presence, engage with the community, reduce, prevent and detect antisocial behaviour and crime, provide crime prevention advice and obtain information that helps to resolve issues affecting individuals or the wider community.”
You have recently won the Clean, Safe and Green Communities Award at Harrow’s Heroes 2022, what does this mean to you?
“I am humbled that someone thought I was worthy of a nomination and I am delighted to have jointly won the award, although I didn’t expect to as other people are far more deserving of winning this award. However, it’s always pleasing when you are recognised for doing something good.”
How do you feel about Harrow’s Heroes as a whole?
“I think Harrow’s Heroes is a fantastic way for community members to be recognised for everything they do to improve the daily lives of Harrow residents, especially for people who are vulnerable or need support in some way.
“In a world where it seems people are more selfish and thoughtless, it’s heartening to know that there are many more people quietly, tirelessly and altruistically working hard every day to make Harrow a better place for its residents.”
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
“It is rewarding when people tell me they feel reassured or safer by seeing me on patrol or just feeling better by talking to me about a problem they have, even if there is nothing I can do about it.
“It’s also pleasing when someone tells me they have taken heed of my advice and done something to protect themselves from a particular crime.
“But of course, the most rewarding part of the job is when I have some involvement in bringing an offender to justice.”
What would your advice be to young people who aspire to get into The Met or become a PCSO?
“In my personal opinion, when people think about a career in The Met, I don’t believe they envision themselves in the role of a PCSO, but it provides a fantastic foundation to gain and develop personal and professional skills and make a positive difference to the community they work within.
“The experience and knowledge gained immediately benefits those people who wish to become a police constable, and former PCSO’s often make the best constables.”
Do you have any message for Pinner residents?
“Yes. Thank you for playing your part in making Pinner a wonderful place to work. Although it may not always seem to be the case, Pinner is much safer than other parts of London, and residents have played their part in that. As they have more eyes and ears than we do, residents often provide us with information about antisocial and criminal behaviour in the area.
“I would encourage all Pinner residents to continue looking out for each other, and to join OWL via www.owl.co.uk to receive updates about local crime, crime prevention advice, and have a direct line of communication with us.”