IN addition to patrolling Birmingham International Airport two police community support officers are finding time to entertain visiting school children.
Mick Linehan and Ian Carr decided to play a bigger role in the many visits to the airport by giving a valuable insight into their daily duties.
The airport is a popular venue for school and college visits and the duo have been educating the youngsters on what the police do to keep it a safe and happy place.
“We tell them all about the airport, from the roads around it to the passport check-in and baggage handling and the monorail,” said PCSO Linehan.
“A lot of them are surprised that police are based here, they think we just call in. We explain to them how the airport is open 24 hours a day and needs policing day and night.
“These talks are on top of our regular duties, but we think it’s really valuable work and the more children we can talk to the better.”
Sometimes the PCSOs call in firearms officers to help with the talks and when they’re dealing with older students they can help to spread the security message about unattended packages and car-parking controls.
The two officers regularly patrol the terminals as well as the car-parks, roads and even the cargo and ‘air side’ areas.
And with a large regular workforce as well as the daily travellers, it can take on the feel of a town centre.
“There can be one visit a week or as many as three a day and we are reaching hundreds of children that we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to,” said PSCO Carr.
“We have even had bugs and pens made up so the younger children have a souvenir of their visit and of their meeting with West Midlands Police.”