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Bexley Special Constables talk about volunteering in the force

PUBLISHED: 16:47 17 February 2011 | UPDATED: 16:47 17 February 2011

Loretta Cox and Deborah Higginbottom

Loretta Cox and Deborah Higginbottom

Archant

One of the most vivid memories for two specials who have been walking the beat together for more than two years, is the brutal murder of a young man, writes Reena Kumar.

Deborah Higginbottom, 39, from Bexleyheath, is one of 112 specials patrolling the borough.

The mother-of-three has been volunteering for two-and-a-half years. She also works part-time as a shop assistant and has two other voluntary jobs.

She recalled the night that Moses Nteyoho, 22, was stabbed to death in Thamesmead and she was one of the first officers on the scene.

She said: “It’s something that stays with you. I wish I didn’t see what I did.”

Miss Higginbottom has been patrolling the streets with Loretta Cox, 30, from Dartford since she started. Ms Cox works full-time in an office doing audit work for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.

Every other Friday night she works from 7pm to 2am and has been doing so for the past four years. Sometimes, her shift spills over until 6am if they have made an arrest.

She was also called to the murder of Mr Nteyoho in October 2009 and recalls the night as incredibly physically and 
emotionally demanding.

She said: “We have different ways of dealing with people than regular officers. We have the experience of working in our day jobs which can be quite different and then doing this.”

Bexley police Specials manager, Ann Mansfield, 51, from Sidcup said that the qualities needed for the role are being assertive and having the ability to talk to people.

■ www.met.police.uk/careers/specials/

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