Benjamyn Damazer JP DL recently celebrated 50 years of working in policing. That policing career began as a Special Constable at the Metropolitan Police’s Golders Green Police Station. He subsequently was the longest serving member of his local Police Authority, prior to the replacement, in 2012, of Police Authorities by Police and Crime Commissioners. Amongst a number of other current responsibilities, he is a Magistrate, and Deputy Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire.
In part one of a two part series, Benjamyn meets PolicingTV’s Bernard Rix on the street in London where Benjamyn’s policing career began. He tells us something about his career over, and observations from, that fifty year period.
“In those days, each police station fielded its own telephone calls. Amongst the things I learned was how to operate an old, dolls eye telephone switchboard, and I would regularly be a police call handler. It was nothing like as professional as it would be today”.
“One of the significant differences that I see between policing today and fifty years ago is the cells in the building behind me were downstairs… it was amazing how many detained people ‘accidentally’ fell down the stairs on their way in to custody”. “As a Special, I was expected to conform to that”.
“What I do see [now] is a change of emphasis, the police now genuinely appear to be trying to help the communities in which they live and work, and the people that they serve, in a way that wasn’t necessarily the case all those years ago”.[Later, as a Special Constable with West Yorkshire Police…] “I had the honour and privilege of becoming the first Special in the country to get an Advanced Driving ticket… And even to this day, I have the West Yorkshire Police Driving School tie to prove that I was the first Special to get ‘the ticket'”!
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