PC Kev Marshall has been policing Mansfield for most of his 21-year policing career and has now been honoured with an ‘unsung hero’ award by Nottinghamshire Police as part of national neighbourhood policing week.
The Mansfield Town fan, who worked as a financial advisor and salesman before joining Nottinghamshire Police in 2000, said: “A lot of people who join the police make a conscious decision not to work in the area they live in, but for me my focus has always been on making my hometown a better place to live and work.
“I was born here. It is where I was brought up and where I want to stay. I care about the town and the people who live and work here.
“I know Mansfield people and I think I know how to talk to them and understand them. They are a fantastic bunch of people on the whole and I think deep down we all want the same thing – to make the town as prosperous and safe as it can be.”
PC Marshall is currently one of a team of seven PCs and PCSOS, including PC Lou Martin, who patrol the town centre every day of the year.
They spend their time patrolling on foot, talking and listening to local residents, shop staff and business owners, with Nottinghamshire Police saying their job is as much about preventing crime as it is about arresting and fining people.
PC Marshall said: “The three biggest challenges we face in the town centre are drug use, anti-social behaviour and shop theft.
“Those things may not always seem hugely serious on the face of it, but can have a deeply damaging impact on the life of the town.
“For example, if people are worried about others behaving aggressively or anti-socially in the town centre, they won’t come here and won’t spend their money.
“So, when I confront people in the town centre for riding bikes, or spitting or swearing, it’s not because I want to pick on them, it’s because they are damaging our town.
“As I often say to people, ‘if you want to spend a pound then come on down, but if you want to take a pound, or cause trouble, or upset other people, then you can get out of my town’.
“It’s this this more personal side to the job that I really enjoy – the chance to get to know people, to understand their problems and work out how to solve them.
“It isn’t all about driving fast and rolling around on the floor with criminals – although we do still get to do a bit of the latter.
“I was thrilled to learn of this award, but ultimately it’s the result of a real team effort.
Superintendent Kevin Broadhead said: “PC Marshall is a great advert for neighbourhood policing and is well known for the passion he feels for Mansfield, its people and history.
“He spends every moment he can in the town centre and is a great ambassador for the town and Nottinghamshire Police.
“He and his colleagues are doing a terrific job and I have been delighted to present this award.”