Andrea Arvai Ovcharova joined Hertfordshire Constabulary as a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) inspired after police officers supported her during a very difficult time in her personal life.
Hungarian-born Andy was in a violent and abusive relationship for nine years and says it was only thanks to excellent support from police and social workers that she and her three sons were able to start a new life.
“I became a PCSO to benefit the community which saved our lives,” she said. “I would like to use this role and my experience to engage with women and children and reassure them that we are all here to support and protect them against hurt and harm.”
A former hotel worker, Andy joined North Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team as a PCSO in 2020, and loves the role.
“As a PCSO, I’m involved in high-visibility patrolling, tackling anti-social behaviour, gathering criminal intelligence and supporting frontline policing. So, I am here to be seen, be accessible – as in people can walk up to me and speak to me – to make the community feel safe and increase trust and confidence.
“I am a familiar face in uniform. As a PCSO, I have the time to put in that bit extra. Time to make sure the people we are dealing with are OK. Time to stop and chat, and wave at little kids.”
She has enjoyed working with children and young people at school workshops, saying: “I believe, if we treat the younger generation kindly and respectfully, they might listen to us and they might make better life choices in the future.”
If Andy’s story has inspired you, find out more about becoming a PCSO at hertspolicepcso.co.uk.