Helen Emerson

Police Community Support Officer

Sprowston High School
1 A*, 3 As, 5 Bs and 3 Cs at GCSE. 

Paston
AS Level- German- C,
A Level -  English Literature B 
               Law B 
               Geography B

Where did you go to University and what mark did you leave with?
I graduated from the University of Westminster in 2012 with 1st Class Hons in Law (LLB)

Who do you work for, and what projects have you been involved in?
I work for Norfolk Constabulary as a PCSO. I have been involved with all sorts of local projects - crime prevention initiatives, internet safety projects and large-scale local events such as royal visits and the Cycle Tour Series- to name a few.

What is a ‘typical day' at work like?
There is no typical day! I can have days when I am free to complete foot patrol around my parishes all day and my workload is very much up to me, but equally I will have days where I am responding to jobs and running from one job to another. It can vary depending on the time of my shift, whether it’s the weekend, the weather, and sometimes it is just very busy for no logical reason!

What did you study at Paston? How did that course help you progress upon your career path?
Geography is handy in my current job because mapping systems are used a lot within the police. I studied English Literature because I have always been a big reader and it helped teach me how to critically analyse texts which was a vital skill for my degree. Obviously, Law was a great help to me during my degree and enjoying the subject at A Level was my main reason for pursuing it at university.

What are the important skills you have had to develop and hone to be successful in your job?
The most important skill for PCSOs, and anyone within the police, is communication. Our job is mainly spent speaking with members of the public and in a lot of different situations. Being able to speak to people and adapting how you do it depending on circumstance is so important. My law degree has definitely helped with that. I’ve also had to hone my presentation skills, and I’ve learnt to become more assertive. I think that’s something that you build on in this job as you become more confident in your powers and the role.

Did you ever envisage doing this while you were at Paston?
No! I went off the idea of being a solicitor part way through my degree and it was actually my mum’s idea to join Norfolk Constabulary. It’s a great way of using my legal skills in a more proactive way and it gets me out and about!

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I finished in May and applied for my current job in June/July. I found out in August that I was going to start training in November, so I worked part-time in retail until training started.

"Obviously, Law was a great help to me during my degree and enjoying the subject at A Level was my main reason for pursuing it at university. "