A POLICEWOMAN from Bradford has offered an insight into the “busy” world of policing our streets as a lone officer.

Patrols of this kind have increased over the past few years, according to the Police Federation, following cuts to police budgets and a reduction in police officers.

PC Sarah Barberini, who has worked for West Yorkshire Police for more than 10 years, is just one such officer who was ‘single crewed’ at the weekend.

The officer described feeling a “huge responsibility” over each callout received.

The emergency call-outs included comforting a suicidal man during his “darkest time”, dealing with an assault on an emergency worker and putting evidence together as a family came to terms with a sudden death.

Explaining how she supported a man with suicidal thoughts, PC Sarah Barberini said: “To some this may not look like much, but with each job there is a huge responsibility.

“Speaking to someone at their darkest time isn’t and shouldn’t be quick. Referrals are to be made, support networks are to be strengthened and the person’s safety is such an important factor.”

On her second job of the shift, PC Barberini dealt with reports of domestic criminal damage where she sat and held an elderly lady who was grieving over her late husband.

Recalling the touching moment, she said the woman “broke down in tears and sobbed uncontrollably” after reaching breaking point.

She had been struggling to deal with her grief and hold her family together at the same time.

In the next call-out, the policewoman dealt with a ‘concern for welfare’ job after an elderly woman, who has Alzheimer’s and Parkinson, was “fearing the worst but didn’t know who else to call”.

The PC’s role here, she says, is to offer “support, guidance, reassurance and a friendly face”.

After this, a report came in for two aggressive shoplifters which meant PC Barberini had to gather statements, CCTV and make sure the crime is ready for further inquiries.

She said: “The two aggressive shoplifters - well what can I say - if you don’t want to be caught then don’t steal.”

In the fifth call of the day, the PC sensitively worked with “distraught” relatives after the family lost someone in a sudden death.

This is one part of the job that is “never easy” to deal with, she said.

PC Barberini said: “Gathering all the information for the coroners at such a private time, family members distraught and wanting answers, it’s hard.

“My heart breaks for you.”

As the officer is about to head home for the night, already late, another unit calls for backup with “the sound of screams down the radio”.

Someone has assaulted an emergency worker and two units head out to the scene in response.

PC Barberini said: “I’m already late off, but that doesn’t matter one tiny bit, I’m running out the door. Two en route to custody for assaulting and emergency worker.

“Yes, this is my job and I don’t tweet it for sympathy, praise or recognition.”

She added: “I tweet it, like my other tweets to share a window into my world. No two jobs are the same and you never know what’s behind that door, but when all is said and done, I wouldn’t change it.”