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Blogs

 

The Beginning...ish

Now every good story starts from the beginning, however, this is not something I can do as my mind does not stretch that far back and I would be making it up otherwise. And with this being the first blog I have ever even composed It may not read fantastically so you'll just have to put up with it I shall go back as far as I can remember... once upon a time in a land far.... no wait that's something else It's about 2230hrs,  late in the year so by this point it was dark and it was cold, now having been a special for some time I am independent and can crew with other specials. I get into the station, which is an outpost so it's just me there, and kit up. I put on my Stabby, fleece, grab my bag and coat and look for a set of keys.
As my luck would have it there is a set of keys for brand new car! [yes actually new] with only a few miles on the clock. I grab the keys and my radio battery and head out to the car, after checking emails and making sure my PNB is up to date. I put my kit bag in the boot of the car, do the walk around checks to make sure everything is working (lights, sirens, horn, wheels....etc) turn on my radio and tune in to the local channel. At the moment my oppo is not due for another hour. I hear comms asking for units to attend an ASB where there has been injury , I head to back up in the first instance. I get there and all is as was described over the radio, it is a small version of chaos. I attend to a male on the floor with a head injury whilst other officers start trying to sort everything else out. Ambo arrive, this male is going to hospital, no questions about it. Off goes the ambo with me in tow behind. We get to the hospital and me and the male have a chat he's going to be patched up and it may take some time so details given and we arrange for him to come to the station to give a statement at a later time, I leave him in the capable hands of A&E staff and off I trot.
By this point my oppo is at the station ready and waiting, so I head back and pick them up, apologising for the..... slight... delay. we both the go out searching for wrong doers and awaiting the next job to come in. it gets to about 0200hrs and comms shout up asking us to help in the search for a missing person who has vanished from where they were supposed to be, as I said at the beginning it's dark and cold and late in the year, so there is concern for this person and their welfare, after 45mins of searching along with other officers we do not locate them. comms redeploy us to a possible criminal damage whilst other officers continue the search. We spend a good 30mins searching for any signs of any damage to anything and turned up nothing, so whatever it was that had been damaged had long gone before we got there. At this point I am starting to flag, I haven't had a coffee all shift and it's been a long day at the day job before so we both call it a day. I drop my oppo off at the main station and head back to my outpost, where I de-kit, turn my radio off, hang up the keys and find I've done about 150 or so miles... I get in my car, turn on the heating and put on some planet rock where I head home for a coffee, some food and some much needed sleep

PCW

PCW

 

New VIP Feature - Ignore Topics

For some time there has always been the facility to follow content and be notified of responses as and when replies are made to your favourite topics but how about those topics that you read and then question why they keep appearing in your news feed as they are of no interest to you?  Well as of today as a VIP or Lifetime VIP member you will have the ability to Ignore Topics. This will prevent it coming up in your news feed and in any searches you make if you choose to ignore it. You will be able to review all "Ignored Topics" in your profile area. You will still see the topics in the forum view area but it will have an "Ignored" badge next to it to help you identify that it is in your ignore list.  

Chief Bakes

Chief Bakes

 

IPLDP (training for the regs!) - Role-plays

So here I am, updating you after 15~ weeks - I've been meaning to for a while and have had several not-so-subtle reminders from certain members to do so *cough*  @XA84  *cough* ... Where do I start? I'm not going to go week by week as in my previous entry, as that would take more time than I have to spare. Well I'm actually in week 20 of training now and a lot has happened since my last blog post. There have been many ups and downs in that time and at the moment training really does feel like it is winding up and drawing to a close. Since we last spoke we have had two sets of exams, a crime exam and a traffic exam, and have done away with our weekly definition checks (ask me the definition of Burglary 9.1b, I dare you). I think it is probably best that I post a few shorter entries highlighting some of the “best bits” from throughout the training, so yes, I guess this means I’m committing myself to writing a few more entries after this one – don’t worry, I’ve got a few ideas for some reading material. Let’s start with role-plays.. ;-) We've had several practical / role-play assessments throughout the past 20 weeks and what they are really designed to do is test our law knowledge by putting it into practice  . These for the most part have gone fairly disastrously wrong for me... Well maybe that is an exaggeration, but there has definitely been a steep learning curve – but that’s what training is for right; getting things wrong and learning from your mistakes? Right. So our first major (and most memorable) role-play day was maybe about the week 9 mark... My force are fortunate in the sense that we have quite a few facilities tucked away in the middle of nowhere at which we can host our interactive assessments. This particular role-play day was held at a (now disused) airbase. The day focused mainly on putting our stop search PACE S1 knowledge into practice. Having learnt the principles of Stop Search in class, G.O.W.I.S.E.L.Y. etc. we were tasked with attending ‘incidents’ during which a S1 PACE Stop Search would be carried out. Special Constables had volunteered to be the stooges on this occasion and would be the persons that we would search. We had been paired off into mainly mixed-sex pairs where possible to avoid issues in searching people of the opposite sex (the law says where practicable the constable searching should be of the same gender as the detained person). I myself was paired with a male colleague, so we would just have to manage the situations that we were dealt. Through the radio came our first ‘job’ – we were to attend a location where a member of the public had observed two females causing criminal damage to building. This particularly role-play went fair smoothly – we ascertained who the two females were, confirmed that no female colleagues were available to search and gave them the G.O.W.I.S.E.L.Y. spiel – sorted! The female I searched was particularly disgruntled that she was being searched by male officer – no problem, the law says that officers can use reasonable force to conduct the search, so on went the handcuffs! The search was positive and we found the ‘article’ that the criminal damage had been caused with. Both females were promptly arrested and that was one role-play done and dusted. We were given feedback by the assessor. A few things to improve on, but mainly good. Off we trotted back to the parade room to complete our pocket notebook entries for the arrest and to await our next call to a job. This is where it started to go downhill... Our next job was to a report of an incident of suspected interference with a motor vehicle – a man had been seen “pouring some liquid onto a vehicle”. We attended the scene and found the described male. My colleague called to the male who then decided to walk away from us and ignore my colleague’s request for him to stop. My colleague took the male by the arm and told him to stay where he was... The male was then detained, searched, one thing led to another and soon we were frog-marching him across the carpark in an arm-lock back to the place we had discovered him in. Big mistake. We subsequently found what we were looking for – brake fluid which the male had been using to damage the vehicle. He was arrested for interference with a motor vehicle and for causing criminal damage... All well and good had we not got there by some rather unlawful means. The feedback wasn’t good. From the moment my colleague grabbed the suspect’s arm the whole role-play went out the window. Had enacted that situation in a real life scenario we could well have found ourselves facing the court for two counts of assault. Safe to say that put a downer on the rest of the day, but as I said before, this is what training is for – we shall both learn from those mistakes. Silver lining and all that! Following the debrief from that day, it was clear to see that there were improvements to be made, both in our knowledge of the law and our application of it. Thankfully we weren’t the only ones. It wasn’t all negative either. All of us had come a long way since week 1 and it was clear to see that we were all well on our way to becoming good police officers one way or another. We had all acted very professionally, accepted criticism, realised our mistakes and bounced back with positivity. I can tell you that now I feel as though I have come on leagues since that day. Saying that, I know that I still have a lot to learn and thinking forward to the time I start on division only excites me more for the challenges that lie ahead. The series will continue...

Eddzz!!

Eddzz!!

 

Becoming a PC - My Blog

So, taking influence from @Eddzz!! and his wonderful blog, I've decided to post my own spin on what it means / involves to become a PC.  I got the official go ahead about 2 1/2 weeks ago that I had been successful and I would be on the next intake, which starts on Monday October 24th. Lots of paperwork, forms and signatures to complete before then. I've been invited for a pre employment day on Saturday 15th October at the force training school. This is to be shown around, meet your new trainers / colleagues and to go through the uniform fitting again. I say again, as up until last month I was a serving special constable for the same force.  It all started when I moved from Wales to England to live in Kent. I met a girl who's from this area and things kind of went from there. I didn't have any friends, family or close connections to spend time with so it was all very difficult. I joined the specials in June 2015 and I instantly fell in love with the job. The unpredictable nature of calls, tasks and day to day activities still makes me smile now. My current job is working within forensic mental health services, which sounds great, but can become boring at times - so the change is very much a good one!  I feel a sense of personal proudness to not only become a special constable for one of the UKs largest forces, but to also be on the verge of becoming a full time PC. It's really been a long and difficult road but soon to be over.  I aim to share my experiences and what it's like to be a PC and hopefully inspire more of you who wish to follow suit. I will update again sharing what I get up to on Saturday at the pre employment day - if there's anything you wish to know or ask, don't hesitate to comment!  Dan 

danswans

danswans

 

PCSO Blog and boots

So I'm convalescing. I had a BCC tumour on my snozzle, sounds gross and a little wow but really it was nothing, other than making me look like a cast member of The Wizzard of Oz. OH of course had a melt down during my recruitment process but after lots of letters and phone calls my surgeon reassured them that it was nothing and I wasn't going to keel over on guard duty because of it, they were fine.  Well, it's been whipped off by a very nice surgeon from Oxford and the skin graft has taken well. So I'm walking around work scaring all the staff at WYP with the big plaster I have over my nose whilst trying to blend in. At this point, when what they said came to pass, that I won't have a gaping hole in my face to scare the locals but something that looks like I've gone through the front door on my horse ( mounted police will know what I mean) I decided it was time to go get my boots.  Go Outdoors have a huge selection of walking, climbing, and hicking boots. I'm very glad that I don't do this hobby as I think there was rather a lot of kudos in what boots you are trying on and carrying around looking for an assistant. Really, I watched the customers for a while and there's lots of ' mistake there mate' and ' ha! He's going to know about that mistake at one and half thousand feet' looks. Couples were actually sniggering amongst themselves at other people's choices  and looking smug at their own£300 purchases.  I looked for the options I had, which basically was a very small stand with 4 different boot styles by Magnum for the conciencious plod. I know there's loads on the internet but I don't have the legs and feet of a model so I need to try them on. My husband will verify that shopping on the Internet just results in lots of unused footwear taking up the bottom of the wardrobe. I'm not good at returning them. Anyway, I took my daughter, a BTP officer to give me some advice. I picked up the Magnum 8.0 Panthas. The rise is quite high and I was hoping they had a selection with a lower ankle support. I could always get the others when I walk off some of that BMI the police doctor was so worried about. They didn't have any and I really wanted to walk around with the other twonks looking smug at my very own boots so I tried them on. Well, they were ace! Comfy, light, they had that area that training school teachers like you to spend hours bulling and the heel was slightly risen so I would get that 'plantar fasciitis' I got from walking for miles just to watch the Tour De Yorkshire scream past at Mach 5. The laces are plenty long enough for me to loosen and still have enough to do a decent bow tie and a handy zip at the side you can use when you have them tied just right with the laces, making it easier and quicker to put them on or take off. The high rise was comfortable, and I actually found that they supported the back of my lower leg. Daughter says she has the same boots and she does actually slightly lean back into the rise when doing standing around operations as it eases her feet a little and keeps the blood flowing.  Downside. I thought they made me look a bit butch. But, a little make up can counter that and anyway, I still wanted to be smug and walk around with my 'real' boots, so I picked them. I enjoyed every moment, even took photos like it was a puppy I had purchased. I didn't even let that customer at the till that was obviously an old timer PC dampen my mood when he saw what I was buying and do that little shake of the head whilst looking at something on the ceiling. It was real now! I had boots and my daughter is right, you don't feel that it's real until you buy and  put on your first police boots . I have been advised of course to start wearing them, break them in, and I will, but for now they are taking pride of place in the living room where I can keep proudly opening the box and looking at those shiny new police boots and tell myself I am, really, I am, doing the right thing    

HappyValleyNewbie

HappyValleyNewbie

 

PCSO Blog

I shall post my experiences as I go along, so others can compare or have an idea what's going to happen or what was different for them. If I bore anyone just scroll past  it's going to be a sort of Blog. For you exciting OSU or firearms officers with your really cool uniforms ( or so says my daughter ) please feel free to scroll on by ok, so after passing all the requirements back in 2014, I sadly got the email telling me that due to Buget cuts, the whole of the 80 odd PCSO's would be shelved. I always wanted to be a police officer and now being in my middle years and after having 4 children ( forgot to say I'm of the female variety )  I pretty much thought " that's that then  " but, seeing as 90% of my family are either was an officer, is an officer or are on the route to learn how to be an officer, I didn't give in and applied for a staff job at WYP.  Then I got the email in February asking if was still interested and, of course, I replied yes, very much yes, yes yes. I wouldn't need to go through all the tests and role play again, just the medical. But, with WYP employing PC's as well at the same time it's not until now that I have finally been made an offer and a start date for training on the 24th October.  The medical was a story on its own and I wouldn't tell it to my colleagues till they were all present. It wasn't bad or hard, but did include a back fastening disposable gown and some unwanted bed hygiene paper stuck somewhere undesirable whilst doing the movement tests. It made the staff laugh, I will just say to make a tale short, make sure you wear nice matching underwear and certainly nothing thong like. This is when big knickers has no shame.  I passed the medical, which of course is the most important thing, to be a PCSO. The doctor told me if I wanted to be a PC he would stop it there as my BMI was basically through the roof. I was thinking it's basically reaching the heights of Emley Moor Mast, but hey ho, I'm sure I'll walk it off.  Then next contact was with the lovely gent in charge of PCSO recruitment, who on the phone offered me the post and told me I had been posted to Calderdale. He doesn't know where in Calderdale, I would find that out later in training. So, laptop out and find all the stations in Calderdale, routes there in summer and of course in winter when we have two foot of snow to battle... Todmordon? Gosh. Fingers crossed on that one then. Later In the day I got an email telling me my collar number and a link to the new starters website at WYP. ( this is seriously out of date, I must remember to tell HR that they are knocking the building down that all the extension numbers relate to) and an instruction to buy good quality leather boots that can be buffed. So I've looked on here and seen the favourites. £150+?!?  I'll visit Go Outdoors and see what Magnums they have on offer Collegues have started to ask questions at work. They're mean ( in a nice way) and talk about the cold, the sleet and unruly teenagers. Outwardly, it's not working, I live on the moors and have four grown up kids. Inside I'm thinking " oh hell, what have I done?" So here I am. At this moment, wanting a friend to face it with. My next post will be about the boots. See you then

HappyValleyNewbie

HappyValleyNewbie

 

If there's ever a time I thought I was going to die..

I'm sure you're all very familiar with the last weeks news of Daily shootings, Mass shootings and such incidents.   I'll try and set the scene for what follows, Me and my colleague are both walking through the busy town centre, 10;45am on the lovely sunny Monday morning Begining our shift. Nothing out of the ordinary yet, we'd done a loop of the town and began to walk through the centre past, just past the local food places. A Member of the public leaned in as if to say something, while pointing they whisper, "There's a black bag down there.."   I look behind this bin next to the cafe, shaded by a tree and bin, the bag inbetween. Rather busy area. Around a meter by a half a meter not a small bag by any measure. The bag, already opened a couple Centimeters, I cautiously leaned over to have a look, my colleague taking a few steps backwards..   As i peer over all I managed to make out was what appeared to be a black box with a few wires in the bag. Not to be too alarmed, Hidden big back, box, wires. No one around it, the usual thing to leave in a busy area right? Heart slightly racing..giving a slightly nervous look to my colleague as they gaze on.. What more to do than give the zip a slight poke with my baton to try and open it.. Failing to move the zip without touching it, I step back.   Contemplating what im going to say to control. A male comes running up from behind shouting 'wait, wait!'.... What felt like a tense few seconds, followed by "Sorry mate.. I Left my speaker.."   Brilliant.   I did speak to the male about it, as there were a few concerned people looking at me, and I spoke to another officer about this afterwards, and they taught me the H.O.T principle for reporting things, In hindsight I'd of done it much differently and been more cautious. live & learn, luckily.

Eebs

Eebs

 

IPLDP (Training for the regs!) - 4 weeks in

I have been meaning to write this blog for a while and as I sit here studying for my definitions check this Friday, I can think of no better time than to avoid said study and put into words my experiences over the past five weeks! I'm hoping this will give prospective recruits a little bit of insight into the IPLDP format and I intend on writing a series of blogs as my time on the course progresses. So here goes... In my force, an IPLDP course consists of 18 recruits, no more, no less and not limited to any particular background. On my course we are a fairly good mix of ex-PCSOs, ex-Special Constables as well as four recruits with no policing background at all (I myself previously serving as an SC for the same force). As the weeks on the course go by you soon notice that all of that past experience is largely irrelevant and actually counterintuitive on occasion - you really are unlearning all that you've learnt and are starting back at square-1! This gives those from outside of the service somewhat of an advantage in my opinion and you may well find that the trainers and bosses agree with that train of thought! Much, much more is expected of you as a PC and this is reflected in the training. Not to put anyone off, of course, I'm having a great time thus far and am thankful to be where I am! Anyway, I shall take you through my weeks thus far just to give you an idea of what to expect! WEEK 1 For all intents and purposes, week 1 was very much an introduction to the Police Service and my force in general. We received input from all the relevant bosses, a talk from the Police Federation (who had us signed up to a million different things by the time they'd left!) as well as various other guest speakers with introductions to different aspects of the Police Service. We started this week in civilian clothes as at this point we were not sworn in constables! The heat that week was unbearable also, so office wear was not the most comfortable (mind you, neither is the uniform itself!). Day 2 in the first week we had our induction exam. This exam tested our knowledge on topics detailed in our induction folders that were given to us at the welcome evening two weeks prior to our start date. All of the recruits were nervous for this exam, perhaps a bit too nervous than we should have been, but everyone pulled through and passed! The following day we had our fitness assessment. This is not designed to be a pass / fail assessment as we had already had this prior to starting training (national standard of 5.4 on the bleep test), but rather to gauge our level of fitness. The assessment consisted of the bleep test to destruction followed by a spin on the Fitech bike, which determines the level you should be hitting on the bleep test. This, unfortunately, is where we sustained our first casualty on the course. A recruit with lasting injuries from a recent car accident was unable to participate in the fitness due to pain in their neck. With this being quite high-risk and with rest / physio being the only remedy, it was decided by the trainers and occupational health that the recruit would be leaving our intake and held back for another. This was obviously quite emotionally distressing for the recruit as they, like all of us, had worked very hard and jumped through hoops to get to where they were - it was sad to see them leave. The recruit was gone by the following day and another prospective recruit lined up to take their place in the next week. I can't overemphasise how precious places on these courses are... My particular force accepts only the best candidates to fill vacancies for PCs and there is always somebody ready to take your place if, for whatever reason, you can't continue... On the Thursday of week 1 and with all introduction and assessments out of the way, it was time to get attested! Despite me having done this before as an SC, this time was different - more special and poignant. The entire morning was more-or-less spent learning our attestation inside and out... In our force, we read the attestation in both Welsh and English and have to say it in unison. For anyone who has read the Police attestation before, you will know that it isn't exactly written in the plainest of English - the same applies to the Welsh! It took us a while for us all to get our pronunciations right and our pauses nailed down, but we had it polished by lunch time! We then donned our No.1 uniforms; tunics, dress shirts/trousers, helmets/hats and boots (bulled to perfection) and made our way to the local Magistrates Court. There were a few hiccups along the way, a particular constable forgetting his helmet and another falling victim to a heavy dollop of seagull poo, but the less said about that the better! Upon our arrival at the course we were promptly informed that Magistrates were not available to attest us today... However, a District Judge was present (sitting in on a case previously) who was happy to swear us in - a rare treat! After a rather sweaty and uncomfortable wait in the lobby of the court, we were directed into the main courtroom and read our attestation in front of the judge - all went well and the attestation sounded great! He did fall off his chair at one point, but we remained composed... We were now Police Constables - sworn in and eager to crack on... From now on we would be turning up to class in our freshly pressed uniforms and expertly bulled boots (still getting the hang of that...). To top the week off we had a talk from the Chief Constable - this was a great opportunity for us to ask questions re the future of our careers in the service and for him to share his ideas for the future. WEEK 2 Onto the next week... Again, a bit more introduction. We were introduced to the force IT systems - yawn-fest, though it has to be done I suppose... Many of us had seen this all before in our previous roles, but a refresher is always useful. The class were also issued with the Pocket Notebooks (PNBs) and we were given a run-through of how and what to record in them. We went through various PNB exercises, writing mock entries to get a feel for how we might best use our PNBs in the future. A lot of forces these days don't issue PNBs to their officers and some may look at them as a somewhat outdated form of note-taking, however, our force still recognises a use and importance in their existence and I am inclined to agree! The next day we had an input from the Professional Standards Department (PSD). PSD are responsible for ensuring the integrity of the force and the maintaining of the image of the Police Service in general, as well as routing out any corruption within the body of staff! This input was presumably meant to put the fear into us, however, we all found it very informative and interesting. We are all now very aware of what you should and shouldn't be doing and how an abuse of your position can easily land you without a job! It is mostly common sense, but it doesn't hurt to hammer it home. A lot of input on diversity this week - a big topic for the police. In the ever-changing and diverse society that is the British population, it is more important than ever for the Police service in the UK to recognise how we can better represent the people we serve. During these sessions we had guest speakers from various backgrounds relating to disability, sexual orientation/gender, religion, etc. all of whom provided very interesting and thought-provoking talks - we were also given the opportunity to ask questions and to determine how we might better serve these different communities as Police officers in the future. In terms of fitness input, we also had another assessment this week in the form of a timed mile. This time was recorded and added to our force records for future reference as we are expected to improve on this time in subsequent assessments. WEEK 3 By this time the class had started to come together a bit more with friendships beginning to form. When you spend the best part of 40 hours a week in close proximity to the same people, you find that relationships begin to form between you and your colleagues, perhaps more so than in other working environments. Everybody is there for the same reason and we are all in the same boat! This week also saw the workload up tremendously compared to the previous two weeks. We were now getting stuck into our legislation and were given our crime books and definitions lists... Over the next few weeks we would be expected to become familiar with these materials as it would form the basis for our crime exam at the end of Week 10 - daunting stuff! Week 3 was a real mixed bag - we covered the National Decision Model (NDM) in-depth, as this really forms a basis for modern policing. Nothing more to say about that... Being a Welsh force we also had a Welsh-input session - it is expected of all officers to reach a certain level of proficiency during the 24-week course so as to be operationally competent in the language. Some find this easier than others. We also had one-to-one sessions regarding our fitness from the weeks previously. Our Fitech bike results from Week 1 would tell us where we should be at on the bleep test and our timed mile times were also scrutinised. Both of these we would be expected to improve on throughout the duration of the course. Throughout the rest of the week, we spent our days learning our Police cautions and receiving inputs on forming reasonable suspicion and belief - the grounds on which policing is founded! This all culminated in a roleplay towards the end of the week in which we were to exercise our new found knowledge / powers in tackling a rather unrealistic scenario of littering in a public place! I'm sure that may be the last time I ever encounter such a situation, but who knows... We were all graded on our performances during the roleplays and given feedback on where to improve. It was our first roleplay of many and, of course, mistakes were made by all - the course is one big learning curve from beginning to end! Following the role plays we were given an input on statement writing. We would be expected to write a detailed statement regarding the roleplays from the day before. The statements were written as per the input we were given following on from the roleplays. They were then collected in and marked by the trainers - we would be given feedback on these at a later date. WEEK 4 This has, so far, been the most challenging week for the class - we were K.O.'d by the end of it! The workload ramped up once again as we found ourselves knee-deep in new legislation and with definitions to learn. Powers of Arrest & Further Detention and arrest necessities were the main agenda for this week - it would tie into everything we did. We were once again faced with another roleplay task, this time tackling a situation involving suspicion of theft. This one went terribly for me and has, so far, been my worst day on the course. Everything just went wrong - my mind went blank, I lost my legislation, my necessity for arrest - it all went tits up! I came out with the feedback and all I can do now is learn from my mistakes. The rest of the class experienced similar hiccups and we were all given a bit of a row at the end of the day - we needed to improve because things weren't going to get any easier... I said this week was a tough one and with the roleplays out of the way we still weren't out of the woods! At the end of the week we had our definitions check... That definition book we were given the week previously, we had a lot in there that we needed to have memorised because we were about to be tested on it! The definitions checks in our force take form as a "fill in the blanks" kind of task... The definitions will have been written out, but with critical words removed from the extract. It is important that the correct words are entered into the blank spaces as any slight deviation could entirely change the meaning of the definition and thus nullify the legislation. Thankfully everyone had prepared and we came out feeling confident... Success! We all did well and the week finished on a high. WEEK 5 And that's it up to now! I wanted to keep this somewhat brief, but that really hasn't happened... I've left out bits here and there, but that is largely the process up to now... The pleasantries are well and truly over with by week 5 and a noticeable pattern in the way the course is delivered is starting to become apparent. New legislation is thrown at us every week along with routine knowledge checks. Our fitness is tested weekly - we're pushed hard. Our uniform is scrutinised... It is all quite alien at first, but this is our daily routine now. These next few weeks will see even more challenges as we start to get stuck into the physical side of things with Personal Safety Training in Week 7 - three weeks after that and we will be almost half-way through. That still seems a long way off, but I'm sure before I know it we will be there. It will be on to the traffic legislation then (a further 10 weeks dedicated to that!), but I shall try not to get ahead of myself.  I hope whoever reads this finds it interesting. I shall endevour to put together another one of these blogs as the weeks go by - I'm sure I'll have plenty interesting to tell you!

Eddzz!!

Eddzz!!

 

PIgzilla

A month or two ago I had a call about a found pig.  I knew that there was a litter of 2 week old pigs down the road from where the call was so thought it would be no problem to grab the piglet and toss it in the pick-up truck and return it.  I arrived to find a 350 pound sow with auction numbers painted on her back. Well fudge, that is NOT portable. So I drove around knocking on doors for awhile and finally discovered it belonged to a friend of mine whose husband had bought it on a whim.  The look on her face when her small daughter asked if it had green numbers on its back and the answer being yes was priceless.  So she hooked up her horse trailer and we proceeded to where the pig was and the fun began.  We tried bribing the pig and almost got her to go into the trailer then she changed her mind and ran the other way.  We tried several more times to herd her into the trailer to no avail.  The pig was now loudly protesting.  We called some pig experienced persons to help us.  Meanwhile the pig kept trying to get back out to the highway.  I managed to rope her which resulted in more vocal protestations and a cessation of movement.  Finally her husband arrived with several full sheets of plywood and a broom handle.  She was persuaded to get into the trailer just as the pig experienced persons arrived.  Pigzilla went home and met the butcher three days later.  

gsdk9

gsdk9

 

Protecting the vulnerable

Rank: Special Constable Length of service: 6 Months Duty time: 1700-0200   All times are estimates due to PNB not being handy...   1700: Get kitted up and head down to briefing. Say hello to early turn who are now finishing up. Begin briefing, one in the bin who was arrested by the night turn for drink drive who blew 162 on the intox machine… he is still unfit for interview! The section I am on with are good and always make me feel welcome, I supply the cakes for the briefing…with some tesco finest belgian cookies! (I highly recommend)    1745: After checking emails etc we head out. I am crewed with a regular who I have been with a number of times and have a good laugh with while on duty.   1900: Comms shout our callsign up for a job concerning a young girl with learning difficulties who lives out of our patch with foster parents. The foster parents have called in worried for her welfare as she has not returned home from school as expected. Her sister has said that she was seen getting into the vehicle of her biological parents, who we find live on our patch. We are made aware there is an order against any contact from the biological parents with this girl and under no circumstances should she be with them at this moment in time. A history of abuse between the father and the young girl is uncovered and seems a very complex situation, all we know is that we have a duty to protect this young girl and she will be coming with us no matter what tonight. After conducting some research on the address we go code 5. My colleague says to me under no certain terms the young girl will be coming with us out of that house no matter what and asks if I am okay if it does “go” as it has potential to do so. I nod and respond “not a problem!” and swiftly throw my bag into the back of the car. We turn up to the address and a male no taller than 5’2 answers the door, This we establish is the biological father, the mother is in the living room with the older brother of the young girl all sitting on the sofa watching television. I introduce myself and my colleague and ask if we can come in to have a chat. He responds with “I have been expecting you lot!” He continues as we enter into the house explaining how there is a ongoing court case concerning where this young girl will be living. We knew all of this already after being checking the log but listen to his side of the story. My colleague brings the male into the kitchen which is at the rear of the property to talk to him in further out of earshot of the rest of the family as I sit with the young girl and begin to talk to her…the living room is taken up by only her and myself now as the older brother has gone upstairs to his bedroom and the mother exited the house in tears claiming to go to her friends house as she can’t deal with this ass we “are taking her little girl away again” This worries me, who is she going to come back with? but I focus on the young girl and begin to talk to her about what is on the television. She says she wants to be a police officer one day… She repeats what the biological father says that she took a bus directly from school to get here, all of her own accord and she wants to live with her biological mother father and brother and how her foster parents are awful to her.  I hear the male in the kitchen begin to raise his voice to my colleague as he sets the kettle to boil  “I only want a effin cuppa!!!" he states all I can imagine is this male throwing this boiling water at either me or my colleague, lets move this conversation into the living room. My colleague has explained what will be happening this evening… This young girl is coming with us and there is no two ways about it and we believe he has taken her here today from school. He refutes this and becomes aggressive again “bloody ask her!! she said how she got here didn’t you love?!” the young girl looks frightened and just says "yeah, I got the bus like I said" At this point I hear an almighty smash from upstairs…where the older brother has been for the past 20 minutes in relative silence we hear him scream out “You are not taking my sister again!!! you scum!” My colleague draws his captor and I draw mine in the living room as we hear him make his way to the stairs. We anticipate the worst and I ready myself for a roll around, my captor drawn I shake it and hold it behind my right leg, I glance to my right to see the little girl looking terrified…I give her a smile and reassure her things are going to be okay… well I hope they will be at  least. A nearby unit with taser shouts up and asks if we need assistance we gladly accept the shout and they make the 10 minute ride over. Things begin to die down just before the back up unit arrives. The older brother makes his way downstairs and apologies for his behaviour saying he is just upset and doesn’t want to lose his sister again…I take him into the kitchen to talk one to one and explain there is a way to go about these things and this isn’t it as there is a court process to follow, he nods in agreement and sips on his tea.  The female officer explains to the young girl what will happen tonight that we are here to protect her and she has to go back to her foster parents. The male is standing behind the female colleague looking at the little girl and begins to but in and it is clear he is trying to influence her. No more, we are leaving. The male begins to rant at how we are scum and worse than peadophiles he tries to stop us leaving and promptly receives a shove out of the way… we get out of the front door and the girls mood changes immediately. She is no longer the scared little girl who we saw in the living room in the house that is behind me she becomes cheery and I got a sense of relief from her to be out of there. She explains how she was picked up from school, and how the whole story about the bus was what she was told to say.  It also becomes apparent that there has been contact through social media from the male for a long time now which constituted grooming.  This will all be followed up but right now our priority was the safety and wellbeing of this young girl.   2230: The girl is now safe at her foster parents house. We make our way back to our patch to get some well needed food! We bump into a male on the main street of the town we patrol he is sleeping on the side of the road. I get out and begin to talk to him and run him through the system. He is well known and came out of prison that day. He has been released to the nearby probation accommodation but is unsure where it is so we give him a lift over and wish him all the best in his new beginning as he put it.   0200: Book off duty after sorting paperwork etc from the main job of the evening.    Hope this was a good read, A duty which left me with real satisfaction and has stuck out to me as a highlight so far in my time as a special.  Tempo.

Tempo

Tempo

 

A cold evening in February [Ride Along]

My first of two ride-alongs I took part in during the application process for Thames Valley Police for the role of Police Officer. A cold Friday evening in February 15:00 - 24:00 13:30 - Arrived at station, supposed to be collected at 13:40 for safety briefing. 15:00 - Actual start time, accompanying officer had a shift change and I was forgotten about. Oops!  15:30 - Signed the indemnity document, policies and a quick overview of the night's plan of action. Tonight would be an operation to combat Anti-social behavior in the town centre and identifying and arresting a few individuals from a serious assault on a young girl the previous week. 15:45 – Meet and greet the local officers and walk into the neighborhood policing office, nervous at first but very friendly bunch.  16:00 - Briefing room - Situation and aim of the evening to arrest outstanding individuals, Intelligence and local contacts assigned and distributed by the sergeant. Section 35 authorization is given to disperse youths in the town centre if necessary. 16:30 – Patrols are a dispersed on foot and in cars. Sergeant will be in the van. We are on foot. 7:00 - Arrive at bus station with two PC’s, due to half-term and it being a crossroads for kids at the local secondary schools there is a large crowd of probably 25 teenagers milling around the area. Identified youths are told to vacate the area of be section 35’d. A few huffs/puffs as people leave and are told to go home. One individual is identified by local security contacts as possibly being a person of interest, false alarm. Teenagers find ‘Civilian Observer’ tag on the front of the high-vis a laugh and liken it to work experience. Embarrassing but expected.  "So are you like, a work experience bobby"?  Area is saturated with high-vis and locals are concerned something serious has gone down. Locals are reassured and then it quietens down. 17:30 – 19:00 - Continue to patrol on foot around the area, liaise with contacts at a local fast-food restaurant who have posted security guards for the purpose of trying to combat youths. We Stop and talk to local people who are happy to see the area saturated with police. Story of troubles in previous weeks given by McDonalds staff. E.g. banging on the windows, large crowds of rowdy teenagers etc. Security staff are advised to stay in contact via radio to local police and assured that the issues will be dealt with. Speak the local shopping centre security guards who share some Information regarding people of interest. Back to the bus-station and the remaining teenagers are told to scoot. We go back to the station to get some better quality images from the CCTV regarding people of of interest and compare the footage to what was seen earlier in the day. 19:30 – Grab a tactical burger/kebab and chips on the way back to the station for a break. 20:00 -  Follow-up meet with the rest of the NPT, as the town is quiet (cold weather) the teams are given new call signs and dispersed further out from the town centre and told to keep an eye out for the group of interest. 20:30 – A home visit is made to a person who tried to purchase an imitation firearm off the internet which was intercepted by RM. Details are exchanged and informed that the gun has been seized by customs. There is no fuss by the homeowner who is told the gun will be destroyed. No further action to be taken. 21:00 – 22:30 – Patrol in the car and observe a bus laden with kids leaving the area. Bus is followed to make sure they leave the area and do not try to come back to the town centre. They successfully leave the area. Continue to patrol around the area. I am about to say it is a ‘quiet’ evening and then one of the officers I am with remarks that the word is banned in the station in case I jinx it! 23:00 – Arrive back the station for the end of the shift as paperwork needs to be filled. Shake hands and thank the two PC’s for the evening. Overall a very standard evening. Was a good experience and was able to ask a lot of questions and got some good nuggets of information!

Ironic

Ironic

 

A Little Bit Of Traffic

Your rank: PC
Your planned duty hours: 1300-2200 This is just a duty report from a shift recently where I managed to get a little bit of traffic in, nothing special but just fancied writing it up.  1300 - Was working on my SOLAP as I am still a probationer however a grade one call comes in of a female self harming with a knife. All early shift crews are tied up so me and another officer jump in together and respond to it. A local officer was nearby and arrived before us as he had knowledge of the female. Upon arrival her friend had taken the blade from her and the female was just sat on the floor. A fair bit of blood but superficial cuts. Apparently it was all over her boyfriend and she had convinced herself that he was cheating on her. Bandaged her up and ambulance were unable to give an ETA so her friend took her down to the hospital as she was happy to go to the hospital and said that she didn't want to kill herself it was just a coping mechanism. Local officer says that he will complete the paperwork and so we resume. 1445 - RTC car vs. child. About a 20 minute response run but ambulance were already on scene as they took the initial call. Initial investigation suggested that the circumstances were beyond the driver's control as numerous witnesses (including the child's mother) stated that the child ran from behind a parked van right into the path of the car. Fortunately no serious injuries as the car was travelling at low speed anyway due to being in a built up area on a quiet estate. A number of people were complaining about the state of parking on the estate and that it was only a matter of time before something like this happened but they were advised about contacting the council if they felt parking was an issue. 1600 - A local pub have phoned up to say that two males inside, who are already barred, are being abusive, threatening and refusing to leave. Upon arrival a male in the car park says "Get those f###ing pair of c###s out of here, now" so straight away tensions are high. He's told to let us do our job and that his attitude isn't helping anyone. Inside the pub two males are at the bar, drinking, and are at the centre of arguments taking place. A few sarcastic comments are heard, directed towards us, along the lines of it's about time we showed up (our arrival time was less than five minutes from the job being put out!) but the barmaid asks the two to leave in our presence and they just keep saying why. Encourage them to drink up and leave but just as we are getting somewhere one of the other punters stands up and starts goading them, which goes down about as well as you'd imagine. Then we manage to usher the two males out, one of which turns to me and is saying I've assaulted him because I've got no right to push him and that the other bloke in the pub was only acting hard because we'd arrived and he wanted to knock him out. I told him that his presence was causing a breach of the peace and he gets his mobile phone out and starts recording me telling me that he is going to complain about me and what's my number. I said that's fine because everything's been recorded by me and I point to my bodyworn video. He just goes "oh" and his face drops and he puts his phone away Outside is a lot of encouragement because the punters are now coming out of the pub goading the two that we have managed to remove. The barmaid is not helping and everyone seems to want to come outside for a cigarette. We eventually get the two to leave and ask the town CCTV to monitor them. Speak to the barmaid and explain how we don't appreciate her making our job harder when she wanted us to help. A report was submitted to the council licensing team. 1630 - Only a few minutes after we had asked the other two to leave CCTV shouts up and states that they are involved in a fight on the high street. We whizz round the corner and one of them has ran off but the other is just stood there. Two people are getting into a car and CCTV says that they were involved in the fight so we block them in to ascertain what has happened. A lot of public interest at this point as it's the main road, part of the carriageway is blocked so vehicles are having to drive round, and there is a lot of foot traffic. The person in the car says that the other two caused it because they've just been kicked out of the pub round the corner... hang on, so how did they know that? I believe that someone in the pub has called the people in the car and got them to come round and "sort it out" so to speak. CCTV watches the cameras back and the vehicle did indeed pull up next to the two males, both driver and front seat passenger got out and grabbed/punched one of the males, before he threw some punches back in self defence and ran off. Considered bringing them in for an affray but on camera no member of public seems affected by what happened and no one made themselves known to us. After consultation with the sergeant it was recorded as an assault on the male that had left the pub but with no complaint or support of a prosecution from the suspect. 1945 - On routine patrol and coming towards a junction on a minor road into a main road and a white van zooms passed in a 30mph limit. Start to follow him and he seems blissfully unaware of our presence as he is going nearly 50mph; he also has a brake light out and so he is pulled over when it is safe to do so. He explains that he is a delivery driver and has come from another city about an hour away. A check with PNC shows that no insurance is held on the vehicle and when I ask the driver about his insurance he just says that he doesn't know anything about it as he just drives but that as far as he is aware the vehicle is insured. I asked him to call someone that could assist and so he rings who he tells me is his boss. Now, unbeknown to him, his speaker is quite loud on the phone... both me and my crew mate hear the voice on the other end say a number of things such as "what have you told them? have you told them it's insured? have you said that you've borrowed it or that it's a hire vehicle? don't tell them anything else" so alarm bells are ringing, especially when he denies that was said. He gives the phone to me and the person tells me that he is the owner and that the van is insured on the company policy, but he cannot tell me which company, what the policy number is, or even when the insurance was taken out. He then says to me "can't you just give him a 7 day producer and we'll get it sorted out". A check with MIB also shows insurance not held so I've come to the decision to seize the van under section  165 and to report the driver. The van has perishable goods on it and the delivery was only down the road so my crewmate drives the van down there and lets them offload the goods whilst waiting for the recovery vehicle. Vehicle recovered and driver left to find his way back home.   2100 - A report of a HGV in a dangerous position on a route just off of the motorway. Upon arrival the lorry has jack knifed just after a bend and so the road is closed from the motorway roundabout to the other side of the bend as traffic was coming very fast and having to brake suddenly so as to not smash into the side of the HGV. The driver tells me that he was trying to turn around to park up in the layby for the night. Whilst waiting for recovery to come and put the lorry back straight the driver comes up to me and says that he is really sorry about all this and I can smell alcohol. Oh man! So I get the breathbox and the driver blows over 100 at the roadside. I arrest the male for drink drive however there are no crews to either transport the prisoner or to relieve us from the road closure. This means that we have to wait with the guy until the HGV can be put into the layby for the night. 2245 - Arrive at custody... as you can see a very long wait so I am conscious in case the driver has dropped but he still blows over 90.   0100 - Cease duty

DB11

DB11

 

Management Team - Welcome Cheetah

It is with great pleasure that @Chief Rat and I would like to welcome @Cheetah to the Management Team here at Police Community. @Cheetah has a proven track record with the forum and has been a valuable member of the wider Police Community Team for some considerable time. Cheetah's work ethic and commitment to keeping the forum running and available for all the members is something that I am very grateful for and as Cheetah now takes up his new position on the Management Team I am sure that you will all join me in congratulating Cheetah, whilst at the same time thanking him for his continued support.  Welcome to the Management Team - Well Deserved. Chief Bakes
Police Community

Chief Bakes

Chief Bakes

 

One Year On - Lessons Learned

On the 29th of March 2016, it will be one year to the day since I started training to become a Special Constable.  I was on a training course recently and my colleagues, who are far longer in service than me, were asking me if the job was what I expected it to be.  I replied that it was, but it got me thinking about the changes I've seen in the last year and the lessons I've learned.  I thought this might be handy advice for those of you looking to join, or a throwback for those of you "old sweats"! 1.  "Regular customers" are often the most polite and compliant custodies you will have. I cannot count the number of times I have been sworn at, borderline assaulted, and been obstructed by people who have never encountered or had little contact with the criminal justice system.  On the other hand, I might deal with someone who has 30, 40, 50 previous convictions, who is the most compliant and cooperative custody around.  Just because someone is a career criminal, doesn't necessarily make them a bad person. 2.  Don't believe everything you hear. This goes for everything.  Caller reporting 20 males fighting with baseball bats in the street?  It's more likely 4 or 5, and it's most likely a bit of fisticuffs over nothing.  Female complainer making a claim of repeated domestic abuse over the past 20 years?  It transpires that she'd been plotting to leave her husband for several months and had exaggerated claims of his controlling and possessive behaviour in order to get him out of the way to move her new man into the house.  People make things up, people lie, and people are good at it - more often than you'd like to think. 3.  Don't panic. Might be a bit of an obvious one, but I used to go into calls fearing the worst.  A concern for welfare would result in a body.  A missing person would result in a kidnapping, or a body.  A knife call would result in a desperate roll-around trying to avoid being stabbed.  A 20-man fight would result in a panic button activation.  I'd be deploying baton and spray left, right and centre.  The truth is, you don't know what you're dealing with until it's in front of you.  I've learned to stop assuming the worst and think of a logical plan without any assumptions.  Think on your feet, don't try and plan everything before it's even happened. 4.  OST is not real life. I felt way more equipped to deal with violent situations after my OST, but the truth is that I've never used any of the techniques when I've been out working, except the use of cuffs and restraints.  I can't count the number of times I've rolled about with someone trying to get a cuff on them and you end up cuffing them "any which way but loose" as my instructor used to say.  So you've cuffed them rear back to back and both palms are facing the same way?  It's fine, we can swap that round.  Don't worry about doing it perfectly, just worry about doing it. 5.  People do live in poverty in this country. I have been in houses where children are being brought up with holes in their clothes, not enough food, a filthy house, and bare walls.  I've seen homes that are at the point of ruin.  I never expected to see it, but it does exist, and not always through fault or criminality. 6.  You don't need as much sleep as you think you do. I used to sleep for 10+ hours at the weekend.  Those were the days.  Now I survive on 6 or 7 hours over a lateshift weekend - with some assistance! 7.  Caffeine is life. See above.  If you join and you don't like coffee, I hope you like Monster/Red Bull because you're going to need it. 8. Sometimes it's boring, but sometimes it's really busy. You might get a locus, or a constant ob.  You could drive around for an entire 10 hour shift and not catch a thing.  Your partner might get stuck in the office with paperwork that you can't help with.  It's not always as exciting as the telly would have you believe!  But then you get shifts where you don't stop - I have been on a 13 and a half hour shift before.  It was not ideal, but I was busy the whole time.  I've been bounced about from call to call, bottoming out jobs and on to the next one.  It happens.  And it doesn't necessarily happen at the times you'd expect it to. 9.  Your "normal" friends and family might not get it. I don't have any friends who I knew prior to the job that were specials, so when I started working every weekend and fitting my friends and family around that, they really didn't understand like I thought they would.  I'm pretty sure I've lost some friends over it, but at the end of the day it's only happened because they weren't true friends to begin with.  You will learn quickly who is important enough to make time for and who isn't - not everyone thinks it's admirable, and not everyone likes the police. 10.  You would do anything for your colleagues, and they'd do anything for you. I used to think that the job would be like my regular day job - I have colleagues who are great, but I wouldn't go out of my way to help.  In the police service the only time I find myself really fearing the worst is when a red button goes off or an assistance shout goes out.  Everyone will pile out of the office for two people, race across the city and run to help no matter what they're running into.  It's worse being on the receiving end - I've put out an assistance shout myself, and what was happening wasn't as bad as listening to the panic in the voices of others as they made their way over.  The service really is like a family and no matter how long you've been in, everyone always helps their own.
  What lessons did you learn compared to when you first started?

Mazza

Mazza

 

A More Typical Duty

This is a more typical duty that I have done recently   Your rank: PC
Your planned duty hours: 0700-1700 0700 - Briefing. Double crewed, only double crew to cover the area. 0800 - Call received from a lady stating that she had been made aware of a lifeline activation at her elderly mother's address. Upon her arrival all of the doors are locked and her spare key is useless because there is a key in the other side of the door. Mum has had a history of falls in the last 12 months, and upon looking through the window can see her mum lay on the floor in the hall. Calls police to assist in gaining entry. 0830 - Upon police arrival we decide to smash the bottom panel of glass in the back door, messy but cheapest and easiest to replace. Elderly female is alert, conscious and breathing but is unable to move and can feel pain around her hip and back. Call is put in to ambulance. 0930 - After an hour of feeling pretty helpless (gave her a pillow and some blankets to make her feel more comfortable) and making small talk paramedics finally arrive (it had been graded a red 2 eight minute response time they told us when putting the call in ). Left the female in the care of paramedics and daughter said that she knew of a glazier that could replace the glass. 1000 - Incoming aircraft emergency at the nearby international airport is put out for information only on the local talkgroup. Headquarters resources were attending but we were made aware in case it came to something and we were required. 1300 - Call received from a female stating that her partner had recently been discharged from the mental health unit and was now back home self harming and trying to slit his own throat. We asked about taser however the risk assessment was that the subject only posed a threat to himself and not others therefore local officers to attend and it would be reassessed if we were met with a threat. Whilst en route control told me that the male in question had been sectioned just before Christmas after putting a knife down his throat and trying to swallow it. The location is a row of three storey flats, each accessed by a balcony as opposed to being a tower block. Upon arrival see a male stood in the doorway of the incident address (second storey). Upon seeing us he goes back inside and closes the door. By the time we get up to his storey he has come back outside and is stood on the balcony. I approach him, in company with my crew mate, and he is compliant and engages with us. My crew mate then see's a female at the bottom of the stairway and goes to speak to her, who it transpires was the caller. After a few minutes of me speaking to the male he tells me that he had woken up that morning and felt in a bad way (mentally) and that he just wanted to hurt himself, he doesn't know why. I asked him what he did and he told me that he smashed a glass over his head and then tried to cut his throat with it however it was too blunt and would not pierce the skin. He had no injuries when I looked. After a few minutes my crewmate comes back up and then arrests the male for domestic assault. Unbeknown to me a domestic argument had taken place and the male had said if she tries to leave he would try to kill himself; she duly left and that is when the glass smashing incident took place. Following the female's call to the police he had then gone outside into the hallway area and headbutted her. Female is not willing to support a prosecution or give a statement, if anything she felt annoyed that she had called police to help her partner (self harm) and we were arresting him. Although at least one benefit would be that he would receive a mental health assessment in custody and would not be able to self harm. 1530 - Clerical 1700 - Cease Duty

DB11

DB11

 

New Forum Sponsor - Rewards For Police

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Chief Bakes

Chief Bakes

 

Saturday Shenanigans

Rank  - SC Experience – 14 Months Duty – Saturday 1900-0400   I hadn’t done a Saturday night for a few weeks so I joined the same shift I’d been with in the week for a couple of duties.  I include it in the blog because of one particular incident which show what factors affect the decision making process.   All timings approximate.   1900 – Get in and catch up with the shift.  We are fairly flush for officers and they are catching up on paperwork as there isn’t much coming in.   2030 – My S/Insp (We’ll call him Dave) comes in and he fills me in on his Divisional meeting earlier in the week  and the new intake of Specials going through training.   2100 – The Sarge asks Dave and I to go down and assist in a search so we take the big van as the rest of the shift can’t drive it anyway.  Dave has IPS so we can patrol together though Specials don’t get response training.  By the time we arrive there isn’t much to do, though I know one of the lads from my day job – he’s been arrested for possession of cannabis and later receives a caution.   2230 – MISPER, a teenager hasn’t met up with his foster carer as planned.  She has a vague idea where he is and after 30 minutes another patrol locate him at a party.  Again the Sarge askes me and Dave to go and assist.   2300 – We arrive and the lad is in the back of a patrol car, there is a gaggle of teenagers including one very drunk and vocal individual.  We get him calmed down with the surprising assistance of his girlfriend who is known to us and can be a bit of a handful.   All of a sudden the lad in the car kicks off and starts trying to kick out the windows.  Dave opens the door and pulls him out but he starts going for him.  As I come in Dave takes him to ground but he is really going for it.  Dave is underneath and I get an elbow in the face.  At this point I get my spray out but I decide not to spray for two reasons.  Firstly I can’t get a clear shot without giving Dave a mugful as well (and I don’t want to do that, at least not to him) and I have this sudden thought of the follow up of spraying a 14 year-old.  As it happens I manage to get  a cuff on and we control him – getting him cuffed and into the van.  I ended up with a few bruises and I ached the next morning.   When we get to custody he has calmed down – apart from not wanting to see Dave.  We calm him down further  and he becomes reasonable.  Another officer and I eventually run him back to his foster home.   0200-0400   Various knobbery and general stupidity in town.  One arrest for assault before I got there and another for D&D as I arrived.  There seemed to be an inordinate number of total idiots out and we were very busy indeed keeping a lid on things.  There was one unconsciously drunk woman at the end of the night and we hang around  ambulance arrive.   0400 Knock off.   I spoke to the Sarge later on and he agreed I’d have been fully justified in spraying the lad, but also agreed with my reasons for not doing so.  In training we were told ‘assume everything you do is being videoed’ so I could imagine the POLICE SPRAY INNOCENT 14 YEAR OLD headlines, ignoring the fact that he was almost as tall as me (and I’m 6 foot +) and had a serious attitude problem fuelled by drink.  I’m sure some people will criticise me for hesitation, I prefer to think of it as a very dynamic risk assessment, which led me to decide not to spray which I think now was the correct decision given later events. Thanks for reading and all comments welcome

MajorDisaster

MajorDisaster

 

Special. Are you? Could you?

I wrote this back in November and this was originally published on https://cccupolicingandcj.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/a-bsc-in-service-policing-service-discusses-what-it-is-like-to-be-a-special/ Reading back there are definitely a few bits I would've redrafted! However all criticism welcome     Special. Are you? Could you? Easter will bring the fourth anniversary of when I walked through the hallowed gates of Hendon Police Training College to begin training as a Special Constable for the Metropolitan Police Service. Many shifts and some unbelievable experiences later this blog is a welcome opportunity to reflect on what has been a whirlwind of a journey so far and perhaps provide some insight to those who are considering embarking on voluntary warranted service. Holding the Office of Constable is a privilege that I struggle to equate to anything else in life. It can be incredibly nerve wracking, but also exciting and rewarding in a multitude of different ways. The Special Constabulary can trace its beginnings to before the time of Sir Peel and have a rich history of serving the community. Charged with the same duties, responsibilities and role as a regular officer, Special Constables have the same powers and equipment and are required to complete a minimum of two shifts per month supporting force priorities. This could range from high visibility patrol in night time economy areas, or assisting an often short staffed neighbourhood or response team. Often confused with Community Support Officers, Specials are not paid, but perform key roles such as arresting suspects. Even now, some of my friends are still shocked when they see handcuffs and a baton on my belt, let alone finding out that I arrest people! There aren’t many roles where after about five weeks of training you could be attending the home of a male wanted for a serious domestic assault, who has strong links to gangs and firearms, for your first arrest as I did, and all in your spare time. People join for different reasons, some use it to boost their CV, for many it was and still is in some forces the only route into regular service and are therefore using it as a stepping stone into policing as a career. Others still, known as career specials have no aspiration to join full time, but it is the opportunity to serve the community alongside their normal day job. Whether you want to join the regular service or not, the Special Constabulary is a fantastic way to ‘try before you buy’. For those considering a career in policing, for example those studying at university or currently working full time it enables you to experience the world of policing to enable you to make an informed decision about your future without having to change job. However regardless of intention, so long as you fulfil the eligibility criteria set out by the College of Policing and the force you are applying to and apply with good intent, all are welcome and it is a challenge that I couldn’t recommend enough. As a Special Constable, you will encounter the best and worst of society on a frequent basis. Although events such as the recent public order in Lambeth show, that it is not without its risks. During my time I’ve been punched, kicked, spat on, had surgery after being assaulted, been on crutches twice and been called every name under the sun and some I didn’t even know existed! Not to mention countless threats made against my life and those that I care about; not a role for the faint of heart but it is something you soon learn to take in your stride. Some of the highlights have been having the opportunity to make a difference and sometimes had a real impact on someone else’s life. Having done so in the knowledge that had you not been there it would’ve taken longer for officers to attend; potentially meaning that a particular incident could have escalated during that time, or in some cases they wouldn’t have attended at all due to an ever expanding demand combined with a continual reduction in resources. More and more forces are depending on specials out of necessity and with that comes a greater expectation and the willingness for regular colleagues to work with you and assist with your development. As I look back at what has been a busy, but short service so far, I will never forget racing across London to save a teenage girl stood on the edge of a multi-story car park who saw jumping to end her life as the only option she had left. From the panic of getting closer units to attend as quickly as possible, to the sheer emotional relief of being notified she had been found and the sadness as you looked into the eyes of someone so empty, sad and young as you arranged for them to be assessed for treatment at the local mental health unit. Policing can be an emotional roller coaster and it was an honour to be able to help, but she is one in a long line of faces and stories I will never forget. When I first joined, a friend asked me what an average shift consisted of; a few years later, I am still trying to answer that question. Whether you are supporting a traffic operation focussing on road safety, or arranging for the coroner to collect a body you’ve had to inspect after someone’s family member has passed away or looking for a vulnerable missing child who has wandered off there is such variety you will always be learning and experiencing something new. Upon joining, you are provided with a portfolio detailing a wide range of competencies that you are trained to do and then supported by tutors to demonstrate out on the street until you are signed off as having achieved the capability to patrol independently. Once you have completed this there is then the opportunity to progress whether that is to specialise with a particular unit or tutor newer officers or progress through the rank structure to manage other volunteers. Having spent the last year working on fraud and interviewing suspects, I now split my time between working on the night time economy and with an emergency response and patrol team. If you ever thought, you could do the right thing under pressure, keep your head whilst those around you lose theirs, be that support for those who are struggling and need help at their most troubled time then being a Special Constable could be for you. It is an opportunity like no other to experience the world of policing and intricacies of upholding the law. Special. Are you? Could you? For details of the College of Policing eligibility criteria please visit: www.recruit.college.police.uk/Special/Pages/Eligible.aspx For any queries regarding individual forces contact the respective force HR department, or you can visit this forum for informal advice about applying, and more information about being a special: www.police.community

Posh

Posh

 

Now You See Me, Now You Don't

Now you see me... When I'm waiting for my coffee at the petrol station at the start of a shift. Now you don't see... That I've already worked an 8-hour day, and this is just the start of another. Now you see me... When I'm stopping you in the street asking you questions, making you late, checking your details. Now you don't see... That I'm looking for someone who just broke into a garage or a home, and took treasured possessions to sell for drugs. Now you see me... When I stop you from walking your usual way home and make you walk the long way round. Now you don't see... The guy who's just been beaten up, unprovoked, waiting for an ambulance that isn't coming for a while. Now you see me... Dragging someone out of a house shirtless and bleeding along with 5 other cops. Now you don't see... What he did to the three cops that were here before me. Now you see me... Queuing up at McDonald's for a bite to eat, laughing with a colleague. Now you don't see... The other three times I tried to grab something to eat, only to be diverted to something else. Now you see me... Breaking down the door of your neighbour and waking you up. Now you don't see... The seizure he was having when we found him, or all the pills he took to end his life. Now you see me... Wrestling with someone on the city centre streets whilst you film it on your phone and scream "Police brutality!" Now you don't see... The bruises I explain away to my partner as "just a little scrap at work". Now you see me... Standing outside your neighbour's house, waiting to flush out the thieves you saw climb in. Now you don't see... The tremble in my legs as I wait alone, in the dark, one female against four males. Now you see me... Leaving a drunk and emotional patient in your ward, causing a hassle and disrupting the other patients. Now you don't see... When I go home and cry because that patient told me he wanted to die. Now you see... The uniform, the vest, the cuffs, the hat. Now you don't see... That I do this for free, for you, for all of us. Now you see me. Now you don't.

Mazza

Mazza

 

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Chief Bakes

Chief Bakes

 

Sitting waiting

I've never written a blog and so I apologise in advance ... Thought it was about time I started blogging as I'm quite often told, I've always got something to say. 02/02/2016 - Here we go I may as well start the blog and share where i'm at at the moment. My "special" journey began 15/18 months ago I suppose, I had heard word on the street that there was going to be a recruitment for regular officers as well as special constables coming up in my area and having been patiently waiting for an intake for about a year, my new dilemma was now which role I would apply for. Would I give up my current, happy career, go for a complete change in life and dedicate my life to the police service, which is what i've wanted to do my whole life. Or would I bide my time with my career, gain another years service (and add another year to my pension) and join as a special constable, to get my feet wet and see if it was indeed a job suited to me and also me suited to the job. And also most of all, to make sure the dream job I had imagined myself in my entire life, was not going to let me down by not living up to my own expectations. My decision was basically made for me, there was no regular jobs coming up and so either it was apply for the special constable roles or wait. Sit it out and wait for that fulltime job coming up. I'm a very impatient person, and I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to get a taster of what I would be letting myself in for and so it seemed like a no brainer. I have many friends who are serving police officers and I told them my thoughts and was urged to get my application in as soon as I could, get that foot in the door. One officer in particular was an integral part in me taking that step and putting my application in, my inspiration to become the best i could possibly be, regardless of the role i was doing. And so the studying began!!! The jobs went live November 2014. Special Constables for Scotland, several different locations available. And I got my head down, putting together the best application I could, I am a bit of a perfectionist and so it needed to be right. I had a month between the job being advertised, and the closing date, and I used every day of that month, writing up my application, perfecting my answers, learning my answers inside out and changing things I wasn't happy with. I finally submitted my application on 5th December 2014 and I was told it could take up to a month to have a reply. And so I had to wait. And wait ... And wait some more!!! January 2015 and I get that all important "PING" in my mailbox that I had been checking for multiple times a day for a month. My application was a success and i was invited to the assessment centre in Glasgow to hopefully further my dreams of joining the police. Now time to prepare all over again. I spoke to those friends who helped push me into applying and i got some assistance, some pointers and some truths ... all of which were essential in my preparation. I planned my interview, and the presentation i had to give, I learnt several vital things that i will take with me throughout my continued application and hopefully long career in the police. I ran through my presentation with friends, i changed what needed changed, i went to the gym, i got myself fit and prepared for the fitness test ... and pretty soon there was nothing else i could do to prepare and it was assessment centre day. I was ill!! A really bad viral infection had knocked me for six, and left me with no voice and struggling to breathe!!! How the heck was i meant to do a fitness test like this? How was i meant to give a 10 minute verbal presentation when i could string two sentences together without struggling for breath or coughing up a lung. I started to freak out. I text my pal, told him i was freaking out i was ill, I was going to have to pull out of the assessment centre and hopefully reschedule, there was no way i was going to be able to go through with it. I was told, not as politely as this, to get a grip. To sit myself down, sort myself out, get my notes together and get my butt to that assessment centre and smash it out of the park. I knew he would tell me like it is and give me that much needed support and push in the right direction. So off i went after my lemsip and Benelyn with my notebook in hand. I managed to cough and splutter my way through my interview section and my presentation. The maths test etc were the easiest part of the day and i would have happily done those for 6 hours than the interviews and the fitness test. The fitness test, well .... thankfully i had prepared for it let me put it that way. Had i not prepared then i don't think i would have managed it given the fact i struggled to breathe just talking. But i made it! i survived the day and it was all over. Now again, the waiting game!!! Some waiting ... and more waiting ... and then a little bit of waiting!!! "PING" ... there it was. THAT email again!! "We are delighted to say ....." I don't think i seen anything else, i was elated. I had done it!! Now the last part, the medical and the vetting. Easy stuff. The email says, medical would be 06/02/2015, a Friday, and i had to have my vetting paperwork etc completed by this date. Again easy ... right?! Monday 02/02/2015 ..... a year ago today to be specific ... I had a horrible accident which left me in hospital. A badly fractured clavicle my injury, a borderline compound fracture that required an emergency operation in order to stabilise me and my arm. Everything i worked hard for and towards was ruined in a moment!! There was obviously no way i could sit my medical in this state, especially not in 4 days and so the day after my accident i had to phone and withdraw my attendance for my medical and possibly even my entire application as we weren't sure if i would ever be able to fully use my arm again until i had my operation. Recruitment were amazing!!! Gave me their full support and also said not to withdraw my application yet, see how my operation went and what time frames etc i was given by surgeons and then go from there. Should i not make this intake i would be put onto the next intake of specials or if regular came up i could apply, given i had recovered. Fast forward a year! Well almost a year ... what a horrible year it was, full of operations and recoveries and set backs and impatience AND break!! 30th December 2015 "PING" THAT email again ...given that i was fit and healthy and still interested then i would be put into the next intake!!! HELL YEAH!!! I owe it to myself and to everyone who supported me and most of all to that one special person who always believed in me and supported me when i wasn't supporting myself. And so here we are, sitting waiting on another "PING" into my mailbox, telling me when my medical is and then it really is all systems go!!! Its been a helluva year/18 months ... one which i would happily never think about again ... But i suppose im a year older, I've had another year to mentally prepare, to learn even more, another year of life experience, and especially another year to think about whether this is definitely the job for me and if im ready for it!! AND I AM READY ......... Im sitting waiting here right now, looking at my phone every 10 minutes waiting on that "PING" that i know should be coming soon.  Sorry to have babbled on a bit ... told you I had never written a blog before but i can certainly talk ... i hope you've enjoyed this "story" so far and hopefully ill be adding to this in the not so distant future updating when my medical comes through. Any questions please ask away.  

doc4eva

doc4eva

 

Two New Awards

With the introduction of our awards system here at Police Community we intend to introduce a series of awards that are automated and granted based upon your activity across the forum. With this in mind we have started our first two automated awards which are for a contribution to the blog section or a contribution to our downloads section.  Some people will have already made contributions to these areas and for that we are grateful however in order to qualify for the new awards you need to post a new blog entry or upload a new file for the benefit of the community. Only when you do this will the award be added to your profile.  None of the staff have the ability to manually add this so contributing again in these areas is the only way to add these awards to your profile.  So - to write a blog article of what you did on duty etc then please visit http://www.police.community/blogs To upload a new file for the benefit of the members then please visit http://www.police.community/files All our awards can be seen here http://police.community/awards/ Enjoy  

Chief Bakes

Chief Bakes

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