TAMESIDE’S new man in charge of policing admits he lives outside the force by two F words – family and football.
The Correspondent told last month how Rob Cousen’s arrival had seen arrest rates rocket by 30 per cent in little more than a month.
Now he has revealed how much the area he was brought up in – Ashton’s Smallshaw – and others will change by almost going back in time.
He also gets as stressed helping coach an Under-16s football team he is also chairman of, while following his beloved Manchester City.
He said: “When I’m in work, I’m passionate and committed. Out of work, it’s family and football.
“I don’t talk about work when I’m outside work. I try and talk about anything but work. I don’t watch any police programmes, I never have done.
“I suppose it’s like a doctor or a nurse not watching Casualty. I live and breathe my job, I’m passionate about my job. I’m passionate about looking after people.
“I’ll put down the fact a career never took of as injuries. It’s one of those missed opportunities after representing Tameside Boys. Some forged a good career and I didn’t!
“I’m still heavily involved as a coach and chairman of a grassroots football club and I’ve been a City season ticket holder for a long time.
“I’ll tell you what, I get more hassle from coaching the Under-16s team than I do being Chief Superintendent of Tameside!”
Chief Supt Cousen’s football career may never have taken off but he is making a good fist of his life as a police officer for the Greater Manchester force.
Not bad considering he was told he would not make it.
He added: “When I was 13 or 14 years old, I was asked by a careers advisor what did I want to do. It was either by a footballer or join the police.
“I was told I had no chance with either. He was 50 per cent right. The reason why he told me I’ve no chance is because I lived on a council estate in Smallshaw.
“So to be that young lad who was told, ‘You’re never going to be a copper because of where you’ve come from,’ to get to that position gives me and my family a massive amount of pride.
“I can help my community, my people, people I’ve known all my life and when I was a young lad, everyone was probably frightened of our local bobby.
“In that regard, there’s been a good progression in how the PCSOs and police engage with the public a lot more and Tameside Council has helped out by putting police posts in place.
“We can have PCSOs and police officers out on their patch and they don’t have to go back to Ashton or Hyde.
“They can stay out, they can be visible, they can be out speaking to people and reassuring them, also learning about things before they come to fruition. We could then start to prevent rather than respond to issues.
“As we do that, we build trust and confidence.”
Chief Supt Cousen’s early impact ay have been good, with a more visible presence in terms of promoting what the police do.
But as he knows, there can be nob taking it easy as he told The Correspondent: “One thing in the police is you’ve got to be scanning the horizon and the environment for absolutely everything.
“If you don’t, you get bitten on the backside.
“We’re the best performing unit in the force and we’re going to get even better. What I’d say to criminals is, ‘Don’t offend here because we’re going to come and get you’.”