There’s a new PC on the Church Street block

Officer earns his stripes by catching knife-wielding youth and braving rioters

He has been thrown through the window of the Conservative party headquarters, pelted with missiles during the recent riots and commended for disarming a knife-wielding gang member in just his second week in the job.

Now PC Jose Rodriguez has a new challenge on his hands as the latest addition to the Church Street Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

Having served two years as a PCSO in Wandsworth and had a stint as a response officer based at Paddington Green, the 30-year-old police officer has crammed a lot of action into a short police career.

Just two weeks into the start of his police work as a PCSO, he was thrown in at the deep end when an attempted murder suspect turned a knife on him.

“I was with two other PCSOs and they were showing me around the area,” he said.

“We were outside a school in Battersea, when a group of youths went in and we saw one of them stab another person four or five times.

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“My colleague started chasing the suspects and I thought I was going to get a good hiding. One of them turned around to me with a knife and, somehow, I managed to subdue the kid and detain him.”

The quick thinking of the three PCSOs saw them receive commendations from the borough commander, while the six men guilty of the crime were detained and later charged.

Last November, rather than facing a knife-wielding gang member, PC Rodriguez found himself confronted by tens of thousands of students as he protected Millbank Tower during the student protests.

“The protesters took their anger out on the tower and the crowd just kept marching on,” he said.

“At one point, I found myself falling through the window.

“The only time I was worried was when I was separated from the other officers and it was just me and two medics who were taking care of two injured officers.

“We had to fall back into the stairwell and I found myself protecting the building from 10,000 people.”

This summer saw Mr Rodriguez personally targeted by rioters alongside his colleagues as he served 25-hour shifts during the recent riots. But he says it is all part of the job of a police officer.

“We are there to protect people’s lives and property and ultimately that was what we did,” he said. “We are proud to do that.”