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At Long Last

So having arrived in Glasgow last night for a festival, I went out on the hunt to find suitable parking spaces in the city. I left looking for a parking space, and came back with a final offer of employment as a Police Officer!

At the moment it hasn't really sunk in, and I doubt it will seem real until I've passed out, but after starting a degree in Policing in September 2013, to applying and being rejected in 2014, it feels like a long long process has finally come to an abrupt end!

Thanks to the many of you on this forum who have offered support and advice throughout the process - I wouldn't recognise any of you walking down the street but your help throughout has got me the job I always wanted and I'm truly grateful to those who are too many to name individually!

Have a good weekend everyone, time to celebrate with Thom Yorke and a pint of warm, watered down lager!!


Home Visit

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog, mainly because nothing's been happening. I attended my medical which went smoothly, but involved waiting for 4 hours with other candidates in the piping hot waiting room of a converted semi detached. Aside from that it's just been chasing up references and trying to extend my son's vocabulary past "dog", "mum", "dad" and "gone" (which is apparently now a noun used to refer to a bin)

Late this morning I got a call from my local Neighbourhood Sergeant asking for a home visit. Nearly an hour later and the kettle was on and I was panic shaving the mess that I haven't bothered to touch since my interview at the start of the month.

The home visit was the part of the process that really intrigued me, having not made it to this stage before it was a complete unknown although some of the saints on here gave me at least an inkling of what to expect. The first test was a fairly simple one - white tea none. I didn't get any feedback on that but there was no vomiting so I'm taking it as a pass

The visit essentially consisted of an ID check, around 20 questions designed to find out my attitudes towards drugs, binge drinking and right wing political groups as well as making sure that there was nothing that I hadn't failed to declare on my vetting forms. The questions were fairly formal, but after they were out the way I had an opportunity to sit and have a cuppa with a serving supervisor who could answer any questions about the job in a formal setting.

Just the vetting to wait back on now so hopefully this time next week I'll have a final offer of employment



The World Cup Final

Well well well...

I made it through to the finals without any of Gazza's tears or Psycho's missed penalties and it looks like all those years of hurt might be coming to an end at last.

I haven't heard the result yet - at least not formally - but one of the officers who interviewed me gave me some positive feedback once the interview had ended.  I'm not going to count my chickens until I've had that email with a big thumbs up, but hopefully we're getting there!

The interview itself was really friendly and supportive - to anyone who is preparing for theirs, I would look at the priorities, values and PCC's plan for Kent. It's also worth thinking about community engagement etc as you did for the Assessment Centre and what you can do to contribute, as well as the local and national issues confronting the police. I really felt the interview seemed harder to fail than to pass!

Hopefully I won't have egg on my face this time next week! Have a good weekend all!! :)


Once more into the breach

The last 4 working days have felt like  4 working years, filled with endless refreshing of emails and irrational Google hunts as to how long for SEARCH results...

This morning I got the call that I had been waiting eagerly for/dreading, I've passed the assessment centre!

Ecstatic is not the word! Whilst I'm under no illusions that the final interview is far from a formality, I'm confident after my past experience was that it was a much less robotic and unfriendly assessment environment than the AC.

I'm booked in for the interview next Friday morning, so it feels like the journey is slowly but shortly coming towards its end - hopefully not too abruptly. 

Congratulations to all those who got good news today, and commiserations to those who didn't, I know how it feels to be dumped out of this process but, to use a cliche, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get back on that horse in 6 months time.

Cue garbled panicking post on Friday around 1pm, it's time for a beer...


The World Cup Semi Final

So today was the day I've been counting down for over a month. After meticulous preparation, I was still apprehensive that I would get caught out by something! 

Things started to go awry at about 0230 this morning when my darling son decided to scream the house down - and then continue to wake up shouting every hour until I got up at 0600. It's the first time he's done it in months and it's almost like he knew I needed my sleep!

As for the Assessment Centre itself, obviously I can't go into too much detail about the content but I'm cautiously happy with how I performed. I can remember a few points where I waffled or lost my trail of thought which will mark me down, but I didn't freeze and I'm hoping that will carry me through!

To anyone reading this a week or more before your Assessment Centre, I would 100% recommend Brendan from Blue Light Consultancy's courses. I was added to his support group for free 4 days before my Centre and so didn't have enough time for his course to be fully useful, however he was fantastic and I would say that for the extra resources available, £120 is definitely value for money - especially as it will be 1/15th of your first pay packet if you get through! He won't give you all the answers, but he'll teach you to understand the centre and what they're asking of you so that you can work them out yourself.

I guess now all I can do is twiddle my thumbs and check my emails for the anxious wait - I've already naively checked them twice hoping to see good news - even though I'm fully aware that the reports don't get sent to the CoP til tomorrow!

Hopefully I'll have the news I want next week, but until I've seen that email and read it 5 times to make sure it's not a cruel joke, I'm not counting my chickens!


Assessment Centre Briefing

So yesterday was the first stage of the process which involved travelling to the training school. Definitely a trip I hope I'll be making much more before 2017 is out!

The Assessment Centre briefing was essentially what it said on the tin. If you're about to go for yours, the gist is that you hand in your relevant ID/qualification/eligibility documents to the Recruitment team, and then sit with your potential future coursemates in the canteen, making small talk until you are called through to book an assessment centre date and then directed to a lecture theatre where you are given a presentation on the rest of the recruitment process and essentially just a bit more information about the job that you're applying for.

I was given a date for the assessment centre (18/05/2017 at 0800) and told that the rest of the process should pass much quicker than I expected!! All in all, the briefing took around 2 hours, despite the possible 4 hours mentioned on the invitation email but it was good to meet a few other people in the process and to have at least some more idea of timescales but now time to book holiday from work and prepare for SEARCH!!



2 years on...

Well well well...

I haven't posted on here since the 30th April 2015. Fast forward nearly two years and we've lost the likes of David Bowie and George Michael, Donald Trump is now President of the United States and England's football team still haven't won anything (I guess some things never change). 

On the 31st March, I handed in my scrupulously drafted application for a PC role and this morning, 10 days on, I received an email telling me that I was successful in the paper sift. One half of me is filled with an excitement that I'm finally back on the road to doing the job that I've always wanted to do, after 24 months of twiddling my thumbs and the other half of me filled with a sense of apprehension that it's going to be another 6-12 months of constantly refreshing my emails, as well as having to go through the SEARCH assessment again.

In January 2015, I had a regs application withdrawn due to an unsatisfactory reference, after going all the way through the process and it honestly felt like the day would never come when I'd be looking at getting back in the saddle. I guess if anyone is in the same position - or even looking at the 6 month wait after rejection - it's a sh*tty time, there's not a lot you can do about it, but dust yourself down, get back up and do your time and the opportunity will come around again.

Next step is the briefing for said assessment - I thought I'd blog the process, not sure if anyone is remotely interested or whether anyone will read this, but hopefully this time next year, I will be writing about training and the year after be writing about punch ups, fast car chases and telling naughty children to go to bed.

England still won't have won anything by then mind...


Last shift before my transfer

My last shift for a while due to resigning to go home from Uni forever! Was a decent one and will hopefully be back soon albeit with another force

Rank: Special Constable

Length of Service: 1yr 3mths

Planned Hours: 1500-0000

Type of Shift: Immediate Response

1520: Arrive at the nick, no cakes because I've been in my last uni exam so its prearranged lateness!! Kit up and go to meet my tutor who I've worked with for most of my short service who I would now call more of a friend than a colleague and stick my stuff in the car
1540: Straight out on the hunt for a free brew
1600: Park up for a brew and get earmarked with a Grade 2 Domestic - 10 year old lad and his nan have had a to do.
1620: Turn up, colleague talks to nan and I go to find lad who is sulking 20 yards down the road. He's basically kicked off over her not giving him chewing gum, she's put him outside the front and he's booted the rear light of her car smashing it. Have a chat with him and he's all attitude for the time being. However he accepts that he's done wrong and shouldn't have kicked the car. He's only turned 10 a month ago so I explain to him that he's not a kid anymore and that this time we might be able to sort it but in the future he could be getting arrested and that the cells are not a nice place to be. He's reluctant to go back to the house but eventually persuade him and he has a chat with my colleague which prompts the waterworks. Arrange for him to go round to his friends for a few hours to cool off and take details for a youth referral. No DV report due to his age not meeting the criteria so happy days.
1645: Come clear and go for a drive, get sent to a report of 4 males threatening informants dad. We were apparently called to the address the day before to sort a civil dispute with next door so imagine it could be related. As we turn up in the road a car drives past us with 4 big lads on board. Go into address and dad says they weren't offering any violence, just telling him to back off from next door but that his daughter has overreacted but nevertheless give him advice to ring us if they come back. Go next door and surprise surprise the lady there knows nothing about it and would NEVER do such a thing. We give her words of advice re not sending heavies round to next door if it was her or her husband.  Check the car that passed us and it comes back to an address round the corner so we float round. No car there and no answer to knocking so decide to leave it for now. 
1710: Volunteer for a concern for safety job. Son who lives out of force hasn't heard from mum in a while so wants us to go and do a welfare check.
1720: On route to concern safety and a grade 1 domestic comes in near the concern safety. Son is apparently holding mum with a pitchfork to her throat. We break to go and deal.
1725: Arrive at scene, it's on a farm in the middle of nowhere so it takes a good minute or so to find once we're in the vicinity. Turns out it's nothing like reported. Wanted male has been staying at the farm. Farm worker has told him he can't stay anymore so he has responded by throwing bricks at farm worker and another lad there. Then went and picked up a particularly fetching pink pitchfork and has thrown this at them. Offender has then run off and collected a home made knife and small pick axe and come back to threaten them with these. When he's seen them on the phone to us he's scarpered. Description circulated and heli and dogs on the way!! If found he's coming in for affray.
1740: Statements from the two workers who have been threatened.
1820: Statements finished. One patrol thinks he has spotted offender somewhere but turns out it's not him. Dog man has gone down windy country lanes to the river and has let the landshark loose. He shouts up saying one running along the river bank, about half a mile away. Said he's been hiding in the bushes and flown off as soon as he saw the car! Particular comical moment when patrol is rattling on about this lad he's seen and dog man shouts up telling him to shut up and clear the air because it would seem obvious that it's probably the guy sprinting away...
1825: Everyone floods the area all along the river and looks to pen him in. There looks to be a while where he's gone to ground because no one can find him. By this time helicopter is floating around
1840: Patrol shouts up to say one is running past him matching the description but he may just be a jogger seeing as it's a popular jogging route...
1841: Yeah it's him, officer has approached him and he's jumped the barrier towards the river and shouted if you come near me I'll end it. Just as officer says I'm not coming he jumps down a good drop onto the bushes in the river bed and sits up saying he'll go in the water. Intimating all sorts of self harm with rocks but not actually doing anything.
1845: Everyone flying down towards him. Dogs are going in. Chopper is still about. Negotiator on his way. Trumpton on the way with their boat. Paramedics coming as well. Talk about team effort! All we need is for him to jump on a train and BTP can get involved too ;)
1855: We arrive at the end of the river RV point. Discuss tactics with F&R and plan the best course of action. They're saying they can't get their boat in this side of the water due to tide. 
1905: Just as all seems lost, out of the blue someone shouts up on the radio one detained. Not sure quite how they managed it but he's been locked up for affray and is on his way in.
1910: F&R and paramedics stood down, back to bed for Trumpton!!
1915: He says he's dropped the knife and axe before even leaving the farm so we head back up to have a look.
2100: Finish searching the farm, we've found the knife but unf not the axe. Seize the knife and pitchfork and head for chinese before it shuts!!
2130: Refs and paperwork back at the station for the days work
2300: Day's work done, start sorting my resignation. Fill the forms and send them to my coordinator. Put all my kit back in my locker and sort that side of things. Book PAVA into property and bag up a coat which got covered in blood when I gave it to a scantily dressed victim of a wounding when he was stood in the cold street at 2am.
2345: Let the door shut behind me without my warrant and access cards. It's a good end to what has been a fantastic experience - I'm going to miss it for until I'm in another force but I've loved my time and can't thank everyone enough for what they've taught me

14 hours

A particularly lengthy tour of duty I recently did down to my bad judgement, however my most independent yet! Writing this to procrastinate from my uni revision so hope it's a good read!!

Rank: Special Constable

Length of Service: 1yr 2mths

Planned Hours: 1500-0000

Type of Shift: Immediate Response

1430: Leave for the nick and kit up, go into the reports room and check emails, last shifts lock up's outcome and make sure a particularly tricky customer from a few weeks still hasn't made a complaint (malicious of course) ((He hadn't))

1500: Briefing, I worked with this team as part of a 10 week placement so I know the majority of them well and I am crewed with a PC I've worked with before

1520: Leave briefing after cakes are distributed, someones birthday rather than any offences committed!! Go and check I'm in the callsign and load up the van.

1530: Straight out to a 15 year old shoplifter, he's compliant

1540: Arrive at the store and meet the shoplifter, he's chatting away to us and the security staff. Decided to nick 2 orange canvas hats despite having the means to pay for them at home. Fully admits it and has no previous for theft. Decide that an RJ is the best course of action.

1600: Load numbnuts into the van and get ready to drive him home for a dressing down in front of dad. He's still in good spirits so I'm wondering whether parents are going to be on our side or his! As we're pulling out of the top of the road my colleague notices someone in the town centre who is wanted for a burglary. He jumps out and grips the guy although he's hobbling on a bad ankle - going nowhere fast. Shout up for another van and I'm sat with shoplifter in the back who is not too pleased that his lift home is taking longer than expected. I advise him that if he doesn't want to sit in a police van he shouldn't steal stuff, which he accepts is a valid point.

1620: Other van turns up and burglar is loaded up for his ride to custody. Shoplifter rings dad and tells him there's been a change of plan, he's coming into the police station to meet us.

1630: Arrive back at the nick. Shoplifter comes with me and sits in one of the VA rooms to wait for dad. My colleague goes to book in his burglar in custody.

1645: Dad arrives. He is an all round good egg and is absolutely horrified at his sons actions. I prompt son to go through and relay the ins and outs of his misdoings to dad in front of my body cam. I explain the RJ scheme to dad and tell him that the store are happy to go along with it, that the disposal may show up on any enhanced CRB check but it looks a lot better than a caution or charge and that it leaves son to be punished as dad sees fit. Dad assures me that son will be suitably chastised and shakes my hand. I make clear to son in no certain terms that another bobby on another day and he would have been sat in a cell right now rather than our very recently febreezed VA room. They go on their merry way with son getting a right earful!

1700: Meet my colleague back in custody. He gives me the bad news first - I'm dealing with the job. The good news is that he will help! I familiarise myself with the handover before preparing my written disclosure and interview plan as well as booking duty solicitor for the interview. It's a pretty open and shut job -  the lad is caught staring straight down a CCTV camera and left his phone on the premises - which he later decided to ring up and report as stolen to us! I find out the reason why he was hobbling when I watch a CCTV clip of him falling from the first floor window of the premises that he's burgling!

1745: Radio off in interview. I've interviewed with the solicitor before so I'm expecting a prepared statement and no comment. His client ends up just going no comment without any statement. His head is in his hands by the end of the interview but I'm not sure whether this was down to the impending sense of doom or the pain in his ankle.

1810: Go through return from interview with custody and find out he's 2 months from the end of a 2 year suspended sentence, he's going back to prison but doesn't know it yet!!

1820: Go back through to report room and go into the Sergeant's to ask for charging authorisation as it is an indictable offence. They take one look at the evidence against him and put pen to paper

1830: Take my piece of paper through to custody and get matey boy charged. For some reason decide to put the now caution in the middle of the charge - I was doing so well!! Anyway all gets done and custody sgt breaks the bad news to DP that he's going back to prison. He just wants some medical attention for his ankle - custody sgtasks how long it's been like that and he says he did it last Wednesday but is hesitant to say how. I wait until he's gone back to his cell before informing the sgt that funnily enough someone fell out of a first floor window last Wednesday and that it may or may not be the same guy!

1840: Back into the report room and find my colleague waiting for me with a pizza. I'm absolutely starving so decide to make good use of my refs before starting on the file.

1930: Refs over. I take my seat in the report room and begin filling the forms out for the remand file.

2330: After a long few hours typing, we get the nod to go home. I decide I haven't had enough and that I'm going to jump in the carrier with another colleague of mine from the nights team who is working until 3.

2345: SECOND REFS!! Down to maccies and I'm content with a McFlurry to top the pizza.

0030: Back on patrol. It's a bit Q at the moment but I'm happy just to have a laugh with my old tutor and his special colleague who is out on his first shift.

0100: Grade 1 job comes in. Reports of 4 or 5 fighting in the street. I'm ready for a bit of excitement so I shout us up to go and we fly down to it!

0105: At scene. Not quite as reported, 4 month pregnant heavily intoxicated lady has been removed from a house party after the news she was having an abortion didn't go down too well with her friends and she kicked off about it. She seems to be under the impression she's being locked up for assault and is screaming about how she wants everyone in the house coming in as well, although I inform her that this isn't happening because it's a lawful ejection from the property. She's still effing and blinding and there's a particularly golden moment when she takes her top off to show the new special her 'injuries'. The look of horror on his face was a picture. I promptly order her to dress herself at which point she complies, but then goes round towards the house and directs her abuse at the occupants. I take her back round by the van and for the first time in my 15 month career find a situation where I can tell her firmly to wind her neck in. She's still going on and on and so we decide to put her in the van and give her a lift home. I'm not optimistic.

0155: We travel in convoy with the van to her home address and get her back out. She's initially calmed down but soon starts up again and demands our collar numbers so she can complain about us not locking the other party up. I write her the log number on a scrap of paper and give it to her explaining that if she rings up we'll all be on the log. She says something along the lines of "That's not a flipping collar number **** off" and even after all the chances she's had, I tell her to give me the paper. She refuses to do this so I give her one last chance to go to bed before she comes in with us. Another "**** off" makes my mind up.

0210: One arrested for D&D. I'm in the zone and decide even though she's in a van with another female officer, I'm locking her up. I get a lift back to custody where I meet my colleagues who have transported this lovely lady - now referred to as "the banshee" due to her howling in the van. Apologise to the reg who transported her for taking the lockup and she replies that on the contrary she didn't want to deal so she's glad I did!!! I'm regretting it now

0220: She gets out the van and she's just as pleasant. Complaining about how she's getting us all sacked for arresting her for asking for her collar number. She comes to the custody desk and starts ranting and raving at the custody sgt. I like this sgt and just mouth D&D and that's all he needs, she's not helped her cause at the desk. More female officers arrive in custody to give a chuck up and she's taken to her cell without a risk assessment. 

0240: 3 female officers emerge from the cell with a full outfit. They promptly inform the sgt to add arrests for 2 police assaults to the record and he duly obliged. She decided that custody was a good place to have a swing at a few cops.

0250: I finish booking in the banshee's property and go through to the report room where I am heroically thanked by the team for bringing her in! It's gone from a statement in her custody record for a D&D to a full handover for 2 police assaults and the said D&D - MARVELLOUS!

0300: Start on the handover, 2 crime reports and updating the log

0430: Give the handover the big sell to the sgt and he's happy to sign it off. Home at last.

0500: Dekit and get a lift home. Get back into bed and book off duty at 14 hours. It's just getting light outside...

0600: Sleep.


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