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  1. PCALEX

    Week 4

    Week 4 was certainly an interesting one. It saw my first arrest for drink driving, once again looking for a missing person who was allowed to walk out of where she was being cared and also saw me attend a nasty domestic between a mother and son. I am now confident is how to deal with missing people and compact, I feel confident in dealing with drink drivers but I am still a little unsure on domestics. I have been to a few now but there is something about them that I just cannot seem to grasp. Perhaps it is the pure desperation that these people are experiencing and I am the only person that they can turn to to sort out their lives when they are at rock bottom. Hopefully I will be able to get the hang of them and deliver the service that those victims expect of me. The excitement and thrill of being a police officer was not wearing thin as it is a job like no other however I was becoming mentally and physically exhausted and the demand on the body and brain was one I had never imagined. Despite this it is such an exciting job that you just forget about how drained you are and get on with it, leaving work knowing that you might have made a difference to someone’s life is enough for me. You most certainly get dunked in the deep end on your 10 weeks but the excitement of it all leaves me itching for the next shift.
  2. PCALEX

    Week 1

    Week 1 of being an operational police officer certainly saw me out of my depth and struggling to come to terms with the position I was now in, however, it was also the most exhilarating and interesting week. It was an uphill battle from the very beginning, trying to remember the training we had been given but also trying to bring the human being element into it as well. Week 1 involved my first arrest, a warrant on a shipping container, first domestic, a hate crime, a sudden death and a high risk missing person enquiry. My first arrest was a terrifying experience however it was something that will stay with me forever. I feel that it went well and I was able to remember all my training and the correct processes whilst dealing with the arrested male. When I was called to attend a sudden death I was terrified about how I was going to deal with it as I had never seen someone dead before. Looking back on it I will admit that I was verging on being in shock when we arrived and although the family dealt with it well I did not really know what to say to them. It was a massive learning curve and feel ready to lead on the next. The main struggle for me this week has been getting to grips with the computer systems. Having had our training on this before Christmas and completely forgetting how to use it, it has been extremely difficult and almost embarrassing having to keep asking people how to work it. I do feel a little more comfortable on it however still have a long way to go to figuring it all out. It is a massive emotional and physical drain dealing with so many different people day in day out, most of whom are at rock bottom, however what I have certainly learnt from this week is that the main skill in becoming a good police officer is your ability to talk and engage with people.
  3. PCALEX

    Week 3

    Week 3 saw me grow in confidence at jobs and experience my first bit of confrontation although not physical just a heated exchange of words. I have never really been a very confrontational person and coming into the job I was a little worried about how I would react in those situations however I felt that I managed the situation well and with a little help from Alan all was resolved and the suspect taken to custody. This week saw me experience Berrywood for the very first time and I am sure it will not be the last. The woman we were looking for just walked straight out of the hospital even though she was sectioned, I cannot understand how this was allowed to happen however that is not for me to worry about it is for me to find them, make sure they are safe and well and return them to the hospital. Week 3 saw my first foot chase although running 50 meters after a very drunk 14 year old who had sprung out of the police car, I am not sure it really counts. Dealing with her was a challenging job. There was absolutely no reasoning with her which was tough and trying to make her see sense was just falling on deaf ears. Eventually Alan and I left her with her mother and advised that if she had any more problems to call us. I visited my first prison which was an exciting job and one that I will certainly not forget. What I have realised this week is that being a police officer entails so much more than fighting and solving crime; I feel like I am a counsellor, a metal health nurse, an ear for those who have no one else among other things but the thing that I am enjoying most about this job is how varied it is from day to day. I've been worried about the massive pressure to get everything right but I've had so much advice and support from everyone in my team already that even after 3 weeks I feel part of the furniture.
  4. PCALEX

    Week 2

    This week saw me work my first ever night shifts, something that I was certainly not looking forward to when I became operational and was not sure how I would cope with them. It is safe to say that although they are a shock to the system it is the early shifts that are the worst! I was still at the stage where I was more comfortable watching and learning from Alan as this is how I have always best learnt however towards the end of the week I was a lot more confident on being the first one into the incident. Two weeks in and already two sudden deaths down. I knew that this was part of the job but certainly didn’t think they would come around like this! Having taken the lead on my second I now feel confident in what to do at sudden deaths. This week also saw my first domestic assault which proved very difficult to handle as not only was it at 0600 and I was extremely tired but also the IP being hysterical I found it hard to cope. Nonetheless I coped well and onto the next. I nicked my second drug driver which was very satisfying and again confident in the drug drive procedure. All round a pretty good week and looking forward to the next.
  5. Hello all, As many of the posts on this forum relate to recruitment, I thought I'd make a blog entry about my experiences as an SC interviewer in my force. Hopefully this will be useful to those of you who are thinking about applying or currently waiting for your assessment centres, specifically those applying as an SC. I have been on both sides of the table for SC interviews, I remember mine well & remember the feeling of being sat in the waiting room, flinching every time the door opened dreading the time they'd call my name but also wishing it was over and done with; I remember being in the interview room, the sense of panic when the questions differ from what you've prepared for and I remember the nervous next few days waiting for an email saying yes or no. Now I'm on the other side of the desk, it's all too easy to say "don't be nervous", "be yourself" or any other cliche line but hopefully by reading this blog post you'll be able to avoid some little mistakes which unfortunately lead to people failing. Please bear in mind, my experiences relate to interviewing Special Constables in one force. While some points may be applicable in other areas, things will vary by force and will differ for PC applicants. My points will relate to general pros & cons I've found to be relatively common which trip people up, this is not a "how to pass" or "secret guide to..." & I'll not be discussing specific questions/criteria you may be assessed on. Any advice given is not scripture & therefore if you go on to use it, you do so at your own risk. 1) Know what you've applied for! - Sounds simple, right? You'd be surprised! You wouldn't go to a 'normal' job interview if you didn't know what the job was & what you'd be doing, and just because this is voluntary (for you SCs), that doesn't change. I've interviewed people who claim to have done loads of research, who have friends/family in the job, been Police Cadets, but then don't know that SCs have identical powers to regular officers, can arrest/search people, the hours commitment or even what sort of general work the police do! This is an easy way to fail! If you want to be a Special Constable, how do you expect me to pass you if you don't even know what a Special Constable is?! DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!! I can't state that enough! Whatever the force, you will most likely be sent a load of material before your assessment, read it, read it & read it again! Have a look at your forces website, specifically the Specials page if that's what you're applying for, and find out as much as you can about them. By all means speak to friends & family in the job, use these forums & wikipedia or whatever, but always go with what the official websites/material say. 2) Know your "drivers"! - I don't mean Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button, I mean 'competencies' or essentially the criteria you are being assessed against. The specifics of these will vary by force but I'd be surprised if you weren't sent some kind of framework/criteria prior to your interview, which outlined what you be asked about or what you will need to demonstrate in your interview & throughout your career. This is another thing to read and read again as getting to know these will make your interview less of shock. In my force, all our questions are based around these drivers meaning if you know them inside out, none of the questions I ask should seem odd. Often drivers/competencies will involve several different aspects, be prepared to be holistic about it but potentially really specific about one aspect too. The best way to describe this is "trees" (bear with me!): Say I want to interview you about trees. I could ask a general question about them & cover the all basics of trees, or I could ask you specifically about the roots, the trunk, the branches, the leaves & so on. Now, you may have seen you were going to be interviewed about trees so you've prepared a nice overview answer but, you don't know much about their roots specifically. Turns out my question is about the roots, I don't want to hear your prepared general answer or about the branches. I only care for the roots. Make sense? Don't make this mistake. Make sure you know about & are comfortable with ALL aspects of the criteria because you don't know how specific my question is going to be. 3) Think about your examples! - The vast majority of police assessment centres are "competency based". This means I'll be asking you to prove to me that you meet the specific criteria. To do this, I don't need general, wishy-washy answers about how you feel about something, who you are as a person or how you think you'd deal with certain situations. I need you to give me specific examples of when/how you have done something that meets ALL the points of the questions. I emphasise "all" because if I ask the question to tell me a time when you've successfully done XYZ, I want to hear "a time" i.e one example, when "you've" i.e. I don't care what other people did, "successfully" i.e. you may have done XYZ but if it didn't work don't use it, "done XYZ" i.e not just X or not just Y, I want to see all three. Think about these before the day and get them right. Often people will use the wrong examples for the wrong criteria and try desperately to make them fit & will then use another example for a different question which would have covered the previous criteria perfectly. I will not correct you & cannot use the answer to one question as evidence for another (unless you use the same example for both questions which is acceptable in some forces). I have to go with the specific answer you gave so it's worth getting right. 4) Avoid using "we"! - This is often seen if using examples of where you've worked in a group but is still pretty common during entire interviews. Even if the question is about teamwork, this is YOUR interview & I want to hear about specifically what YOU did, I don't care about anyone else. Using "we" doesn't do you any favours & can lead to you not actually answering the question & therefore losing marks. On that note... 5) Listen to & answer the question! - Again, sounds obvious but many, many people don't! If you don't hear or don't understand any part of the question, ask me to repeat it. I can do so as many times as you like & can even rephrase it if it doesn't make sense to you. Asking me to do this does not lose your marks & ensures you hit all the points you need to. The question is all I care about. Do not waffle, go off on a tangent, give me a load of corporate spiel or generalised answers, it won't do you any favours and won't get you any marks. You can say you're the pope, the dalai lama, mother teresa & superman all rolled into one, that's great... but it doesn't answer my question & is therefore of no use to me. If the question asks for a specific example, give me one. If it asks how you'd deal/have dealt with a specific scenario, do not deviate from that scenario because that's not what I asked. I appreciate it's a fine balance you need to strike, if you do not demonstrate what you've been asked (either by saying too much irrelevant stuff or simply not enough at all), I cannot prompt you other than asking to clarify the specific points of the question. 6) Take your time! - Many of the above issues simply come from people panicking. Although I'll have a lot of recruits to interview & can't wait for you all day, there is no rush. Taking a bit of time to think about your answer before you speak will do you wonders & will avoid you blurting out whatever comes into your head that is vaguely related to the question! 7) Don't talk about stuff you don't know! - You answering my questions impresses me, you don't need to try and talk "job" if you don't know what you're on about. Unless asked for (& certainly not in my force), I do not need you to quote legislation to me, talk about jurisdiction, the fact you know the difference between different types of police vehicles, what different ranks can/can't do etc etc. I'm not expecting you to be a police officer, I'm expecting you to answer my questions to show you have potential to become one. Often people will read stuff online that is simply wrong and quote it in an interview to impress me... it doesn't. Unless it's relevant I will not correct you, I'll just think you're a little bit silly 8) Don't take your past for granted! - Have you been a cadet? Served in another force as a PCSO, Special or even Regular. That's great! I look forward to you smashing all the questions by having relevant examples to give. Please don't assume past policing experience is a golden ticket to getting in, it isn't! I have failed people who evidently have done no preparation after they assumed that because they can use acronyms, talk "job" to me & have had a warrant card in the past, that they'll get in. I take every recruit as they come. Yes, policing experience puts you at an advantage by a) probably having gone through a similar process already and b) it should give you excellent relevant examples to the questions I'll be asking but that's it. Unless you use that experience to demonstrate that & answer my questions, I cannot pass you. Don't be arrogant! 9) Don't lie! - In many forces you are interviewed by serving officers... don't try and lie to police officers or even HR for that matter, it doesn't end well. It's obvious and easily unravelled, if you do we can & will check! If you miss out & fail at the interview stage because you haven't provided satisfactory answers, you are welcome to try again. If you get found out for lying, you can forget any future career in the police on honesty & integrity grounds. Don't risk it! 10) Don't be disheartened! - If the worst happens & you fail at interview stage, that does not mean you are not suitable for the job. True, some people just simply don't cut it but in a lot of interviews that fail I find myself getting frustrated, not at you but for you. Much of want you're saying is great, but as per the points above, either you've not said it in the right place or not used it in the correct way to answer the very specific question you may be asked. If the force you're applying to does offer feedback, please take it on board, use the experience you've just had, review what you had planned & try again... please! I almost enjoy passing people who I see a second time more than I do first-timers! Hopefully that all proves useful to someone! If you'd like to ask me any general questions about interviews, please do so below or PM me. As I've said above though, I cannot & will not give specifics about your assessment day. Best of luck to those currently in the recruitment process! Regards, HPE
  6. So I arrived at the station for my first ever shift as a fully attested special constable. Although my rank still stands as "trainee" special constable, it still feels good to finally be allowed out on the streets. So it was a Sunday afternoon at 14.45. I made my way to the second floor of Maidstone police station and knocked on the LDPT (local district police team) sergeants office. I informed the SGT who I was and he told me to go wait in the office in the next room. 10 minutes went by, which felt like an hour. He called me into the briefing room and my first ever police briefing had begun. Who got told of some potential wanted people and I got told who I'd be crewed with. We got a vehicle and off we went. My crew mate was a regular PC and a great one at that. Very funny and welcoming. We done a bit of "hunting", as he liked to call it, and mainly went to the more rougher parts of Maidstone to see what we could find. To sum up the evening, I carried out a s23 MDA persons search, s1 Pace persons search and assisted my colleagues in the vehicle searches for both the above. We also had a failure to stop however this didn't make off at speed. When the guy finally stopped he blamed it on the blue Xmas lights hanging off his mirror and claimed he didn't see us. (Ok then!) After a stern warning, we could smell alcohol coming from him and noticed a can of Stella in the driver side door. A breath test revealed 23mgs of alcohol in his breathe, very lucky indeed. Overall, a very good first shift and looking forward to my morning shift on Tuesday.
  7. Newcastle Falcons' Rob Hawkins becomes special constable 20 November 2015 From the sectionTyne & Wear Image copyrightNorthumbria Police Image captionRob Hawkins is a hooker for the Newcastle Falcons A professional rugby player will try to tackle crime in his new role as a special constable. Newcastle Falcons player Rob Hawkins has completed his first shift as a volunteer officer for Northumbria Police. The 32-year-old hooker, who previously played for Bath and Leicester Tigers, said he is considering a career in the force when he retires from rugby. Northumbria Police said they hope he will inspire others to volunteer. Ch Insp Sarah Pitt, said: "We're really pleased that Rob has joined us as a special constable and we hope it encourages other people to think about getting involved. "Our volunteers are a vital link between us and the communities we serve and we welcome the different skills they bring from their own professions." Stats of a special constable Rob Hawkins in numbers 85 Appearances for Bath Rugby, Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons 5ft 11 in (1.8m) tall 15.7 stone (100kg) weight 32 Years old 2 Trophies won, the Aviva Premiership in 2011 and LV= Cup in 2012 Source: ESPN Getty Images SC Hawkins said: "I'm probably in my twilight years with my rugby career, so I'm starting to think heavily about the transition into the real world and I've always been interested in the police. "Whilst I've got the opportunity to give it a whirl as a volunteer I decided to try it. "I've played in front of 80,000 people before but I don't think I was as nervous then as I was starting my first shift. "I've been getting a bit of a ribbing. I'm not looking forward to seeing a few of the boys in town when they've had a couple of jars as I'm sure they will probably try to steal my hat and other pranks, but I've told them they'll be in trouble." Image copyrightGetty Images Image caption Rob Hawkins previously played for Bath and the Leicester Tigers before joining the Newcastle Falcons in 2014 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-34878360
  8. Version 1.0.0

    28 downloads

    National Specials Weekend National Specials Weekend, organised to promote the Special Constabulary in local communities, saw thousands of Specials take to the street to undertake policing activities relevant to local needs. Hampshire Constabulary SC's in the Marine Unit At the beginning of 2012, Hampshire Constabulary’s Special Branch Marine Unit, advertised three six month trial postings for Special Constables to supplement the nine regular Police Constables and one sergeant that make up the unit. All four special Constables are now fortunate enough to be permanently posted to the Marine unit, contributing far in excess of the minimum duty hours.
  9. I am currently looking to sell my Blackstone 2015 manuals along with crammer guides from Police Pass. In total there are 8 books covering the following 4 topics; - Evidence & Procedure - General Policing Duties - Roads Policing - Crime Blackstone's Police Manuals 2015 Four Volumes RRP = £79.99 Police Pass Crammer Guide 2015 Four Volumes RRP = £69.99 These books are ideal for any new student constable, someone looking to brush up on their knowledge or those looking to start studying for their OSPRE exam. Blackstone's are the only College of Policing endorsed manuals around, this means that they are the official police line when it comes to current legislation and procedure, there is nobody else who offers the vast knowledge that they do. I am looking for a sensible offer but I am willing to have a discussion regarding the price if you PM me. I look forward to hearing from you.
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