As requested by @XA84!
It's been a while since I last posted an update so I suppose it's about time. Since I last posted, it's been a mixture of really super busy weeks and weeks where we spend our days catching up on things that have changed since we were first taught them, things we missed and things we want to recap. It's really starting to feel like we're almost at the end now and it's kind of a bitter-sweet feeling. I can't wait to get out there, finally, after all these months training but I'm also going to miss my training family so much and I'm really worried about how I'll find it out there.
We are half way through our six week split currently, where half of us stayed in HQ for our Investigative Interviewing course and the other half went off on the 3 week response driving course. I started with Interviewing, which I'm really glad about because once I'm back from driving there will only be three weeks left before we pass out. However, it has been hard listening to the other half of our group talking about all the fun they've had and places they've been on the driving, which sounds like such an amazing course. We have had our own fun in HQ though, with interview practicals being my favourite part. We covered No Comment interviews, which I found particularly interesting, as well as how to challenge people's accounts etc. I found it really difficult at the start to stop myself from using leading questions or asking 'Can you..' instead of imperatives, but after the first day everything seemed to fall into place and I got the hang of it and found myself excited to do the real thing. In our three weeks in HQ we've also had a massive practical day, where we were set up as if we were covering a town with an event on for the day and sent around to mundane tasks and petty crimes when all of a sudden a major crime happens and we had to deal with it, which was fantastic. We've also had inputs from the Forensic team and Family Liaison Officer which were so interesting. We also had a Court Practical day following our court training which was a great insight into what it'll be like to stand in the witness box. My role play included being questioned on my age and how I could possibly know this and that at the age of twenty, which I'm actually really glad was brought up as I'm sure it will be out there and I felt like I held my ground pretty convincingly and had good feedback afterwards, so happy days!
By far one of my favourite things we've done throughout our training so far was our Water Rescue & Safety day which was on Thursday. We traveled up to a local fire station where we were plonked in a freezing cold river in dry suits and taught how to not only rescue casualties from the water but also self-rescue in strong currents. It was an absolutely fantastic day and a brilliant team-building exercise, although it was only half of our team with us. The trainers were brilliant and it was nice to get away from the strictness of HQ and have a bit of a laugh and a joke for the day, it was a right blast. Not to mention the fact that, being a swimmer, this day was right up my street. We followed this perfectly by another team-building exercise, which was our own kind of 'end of course' night out to Cardiff to make the most of our last few weeks together. I'm really going to miss the people I've become so close to, spending the last five months as one big family, and it'll be weird to all be split up but I'm hoping I become just as close to the people on my shift at my station.
Come Tuesday I'll be starting the Response Driving course which I'm so, so excited about but also a little bit nervous because I'm a terrible passenger, I don't get sick but I'm the person who will sit there slamming on my imaginary break in the passenger seat. I'm sure it'll be fine though, and from the other group's stories it's the best part of the training. We've had another course start in HQ a few weeks ago which is nice, it's great to have a few new faces around the place and especially in the hotel.
Other than that, I'm just pushing myself more in the gym despite a minor knee injury ready to get out there and trying to get my head together and plan for the real world now.
6 weeks to go, and counting!
Thanks for reading,