From Johannesburg to Brentwood, PC Gary Barnes discusses policing the district
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Growing up in Johannesburg, PC Gary Barnes always aspired to be a police officer to help his community.
The father-of-two moved from the South African capital to Malaga in Spain before arriving in the UK and joining Essex Police in 2016.
Gary, who is a Brentwood Town Centre Team officer, has been working alongside his colleagues to help people, to keep you safe and to catch criminals and can be often seen patrolling the High Street and town centre.
He said: “We’ve been out in the community patrolling and listening to peoples’ concerns.
“We have a regular patrol route in place, which has since included the Warley Hill green area and Blackmore following concerns about people gathering.
“We’ve also had a number of reports of people parking on pavements in Brentwood High Street and we’re working with Brentwood Borough Council to deal with repeat offenders.
“I’m very proud to be an Essex Police officer and the large majority people that I’ve engaged with have been very supportive and understanding, so thank you.”
Gary, formerly of Brentwood’s Local Policing Team, is a regular attendee of Brentwood Business Partnership meetings and had given a number of shoppers following reports of purse thefts.
His team have also been patrolling others areas including Ingatestone.
Gary, who has twins with wife, Rebecca, was recently praised by ambulance workers for quickly responding to reports that a man had fallen ill in Sainsbury’s in Brentwood, on 29 March.
He used his training to help close the road before assisting the paramedics.
Just last month, Gary secured a four-year sentence against a 48-year-old burglar from London who targeted four businesses – two in Brentwood and one in Ingatestone and one in Loughton – in June 2019.
One of the victims, Chetan Chandarana, who owns Net Digitizing UK Limited, in High Street, Brentwood, said: “We are really happy that Essex Police caught this man, it was scary but we were put at ease thanks to the work of the officers.
“We were contacted about the case regularly by Gary and pleased there was justice.
“I’d like to thank all the officers for all the work they’ve been doing during these uncertain times. Thank you all for your efforts.”