Students vote in favour of ‘Joe’s Coffee’
A Birmingham high school has shown its appreciation for the tireless work of one of its local police officers, who even learned Urdu and Hindi to speak with students, by naming the students’ café after him.
The eatery known as ‘Joe’s Coffee’ is based at Broadway Academy in Perry Barr and is a tribute to neighbourhood officer PC Joe Cahill, who has been policing the area for over 25 years.
Joe is such a familiar face around the school that the 1,300 pupils touchingly voted to name their revamped snack area in honour of him.
Dubbed ‘PC Joe’ by the students, the officer is part of the local neighbourhood policing team for Aston, which maintains close links with the school as part of their daily neighbourhood duties.
In particular, Joe’s devotion to the pupils and staff has helped reduce crime, bullying and make the school a safer place.
Three years ago the school provided a purpose built police base within the grounds using funding from the ‘New Deal for Communities’ scheme.
Neighbourhood officers and PCSOs covering Aston and Perry Barr are now based within the school and the proximity to the pupils and local community has benefited the whole area.
Joe said: “There is a phenomenal amount of work going on between the police, school and local community. I call into the school each day on my beat and the students all come up to me and have a chat.
“They see me as a person they can speak to and if there is a problem I am there. In the past a 16-year-old would never have spoken to an officer if they were in trouble, but now they have been talking to me for years and they know me.”
To ensure even better communication with students at the school, who are predominately Asian, Joe has even learnt to speak Urdu and Hindi.
Head teacher Ron Skelton said: “The school has an excellent relationship with both Joe and the local neighbourhood team and the wider community.
“Given some of the problems schools have faced in the area, the work between Broadway School, West Midlands Police and the community has enabled us to become a centre of excellence for community cohesion and as a consequence a safer community for us all.”