When I first began policing Littleport in late 2016 I met the Parish Council to discuss their concerns, and to compile a list of matters that needed to be addressed. I came to the council offices at The Barn for the first time. I visited with Inspector Marcia Pringle, who is now a Chief Inspector.
I received a warm welcome and soon discovered that plenty of matters needed to be addressed. I was invited upstairs to the Littleport Society’s museum of Littleport life. It was then that I got the proper sense of community and self-knowledge that is attached to Littleport.
I have never been into a community that has such a defined sense of identity; or a parish that has spent so much time collating its own history so thoroughly.
While I was there I was given a photograph of the local police sergeant, from the inter war period, between the First and Second World Wars. This black and white photograph showed me a man who I didn’t know, from roughly 90 years ago, who had essentially been doing my job … but generations before me.
It was then that I felt what a privilege it was to have this role in Littleport. Actually, I feel that I am just a custodian of this role.
It will pass on to many others, for years to come. I can’t imagine that in 90 years’ time someone will show a picture of me to some new police officer, who will no doubt be equipped with all the latest technology.
Maybe if that happens, he or she will look at my picture and wonder what I had been dealing with, and how I had been dealing with it. I wonder what the challenges will hold for policing Littleport in 90 years’ time?
As I have policed Littleport, I have grown to have a strong connection to this community. I work closely with the Parish Council on all types of issues.
We created an art project in Millpit Furlong together. And I am really proud of what the young people of the village did to support that. I am grateful to be connected to the village, and the people who make this community so special.
Sergeant Phil Priestly