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Devon & Cornwall Police Federation

Meet The Devon & Cornwall Police Federation Representatives – Mark Atkins

16 December 2021

Meet The Devon & Cornwall Police Federation Representatives – Mark Atkins

- Can you give us a brief summary of your career history and your current rank and role?

I used to run pubs for Wetherspoons before joining Devon & Cornwall Police in 2003. I was on patrol until about 2018 when became the geographic full time Rep for Cornwall having been a work based Rep for a couple of years. I am a PC and that won’t change! Just been re-elected into the role for the current triannual period.

- What made you want to be a Fed Rep? Why do you enjoy the role?

On occasions during my front line career I have attracted complaints from the public. No cases were upheld and they were mainly spurious allegations. I enjoy supporting members with a wide variety of issues and like to “Fight the corner of front line cops”. Policing is hard enough without the pressure of long drawn out investigations. The impact an investigation has on a member is massive and I enjoy constructive conversations with key stakeholders thus supporting the member throughout the process. I provide on call cover for out of hours matters and enjoy the dynamics of such call outs and ensuring members receive the best possible support.

- Why do you think it’s important for members to be supported by fellow officers as their Reps?

Situations arise where processes are instigated that may sit outside of policy or Police Regulations. Members may never have been in such a position and I feel it’s important to be able to advise and support officers that feel compelled to engage and not necessarily have the available support and protection.

- What are the specific concerns in your geographical area – and how are you looking to address them?

Resourcing is a concern in the depths of Cornwall, there is no magic answer and the experience level in the workforce is lower due to uplift and retirements. With Covid-19 Cornwall has seen the busiest times in years and the demand on staff has been massive. Also big events such as G7, Cop26, Boardmasters and many other local events have impacted on the membership with cancelled rest days, shift changes and at times considerably time away from families. Staff welfare is of great importance and I strive to link in with management to support staff as much as possible.

- What should members do if they’re concerned about anything?

Throughout my term as a Rep I have always been proactive in being visible and contactable. I enjoy direct contact from members and welcome early contact as many issues can be addressed quickly with early intervention.

- Tell us an unusual fact about yourself!?

I have taken up metal detecting. Some look at it as a strange hobby but I get to walk along a beach find the odd penny and enjoy the fresh air. As a result I now get contact from people that have lost rings and other jewellery on the beach and enjoy finding the lost item and return to the loser. Most of the time the item has great sentimental value.