Meet the police officers keeping Derbyshire safe on Christmas Day
As most of us are winding down for some well-deserved time off, staff working for Derbyshire Police are gearing up for the busy festive season.
PC Claire Harradine will be picking up the late shift with the force on Christmas Day, ready to tackle any 999 calls that come her way.
Having worked plenty of Christmas shifts before, PC Harradine remembers the year she took a bag of food to two young boys who had no food in the house.
She said: “I remember one year I went to a house where there were two young boys, and they had no food in their house. I ended up going to the local garage and filling a bag with biscuits and cakes and they were so grateful for it. I found it hard to go home that year, and sit down to enjoy a big dinner with my family knowing they only had the cake I’d just bought them.”
Despite witnessing such sad scenes, PC Harradine says most people on the festive shift stay cheerful, and helping those less fortunate makes her grateful for what she has.
She added: "Saying that though, everyone that works at Christmas is chirpy. You’ll never see a cop that’s unhappy to be at work even though they’re not with their own families.
“We will celebrate together, there’s a real sense of camaraderie, we’ll all bring food in – even though we don’t normally get chance to eat it the intention is there that you will sit and eat together.
“Since having children, my Christmases have changed considerably.
“I used to work it most years, but now I get woken up to the news that Santa has been and we have to creep down stairs, open the living room door to what can only be described as a toy shop! We’ll open our presents, have some Buck’s Fizz and croissants, and get our Christmas Day outfits on before I start the dinner.
"Luckily, I’m on the late shift this year working 3pm-11pm, so I will still get that magic with my family (minus the Buck’s Fizz) - we can have an early dinner before my husband takes over the entertainment!
"Working at Christmas can show a side to people that can put a dampener on your own sights of the season. Seeing the families that argue, the families that have hot dogs as their Christmas dinner, and the families that genuinely don’t have anything really does make you grateful for what you have.
"This year I’m working in Amber Valley on response. We will respond to any 999 calls, road traffic collisions, reports of domestics and any assaults. I’ll be doing the same again on Boxing Day – I volunteered to work both shifts as the morning really is the most important part of Christmas Day for me.”