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  1. XA84

    Driving Permits

    Hi all, I'm wondering if anyone would be able to point out the differences in training and examinations for the various types of driving permits for officers. At present my force currently has basic, response and advanced. Any advice is appreciated. XA84
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Hi all, Apologies if this question has been asked before I only ask as I have thoughts of applying to MDP if my current application with my own force goes south. Upon starting your training with MDP can anyone confirm the process when it comes to the firearms training aspects. I realise that this is a public forum so information will be very limited but I'm hoping to clarify the situation in terms of not meeting the needs of the course. I'm fully aware that should you undertake a firearms course with a home office course and you fail then you are returned to district and told to reapply at a later stage however I'm wondering how this would work with the MDP as the main part of the role is being a firearms handler? If you don't meet the grade are you dismissed from the force? Any assistance would be appreciated! XA84
  7. Cathedral Bobby

    Personal Safety Training

    Looking at the number concerns raised around the quality/quantity of PST I start to wonder what is actually being delivered by different forces. Within the cathedral constabularies we receive two full days annually of PST, which generally covers unarmed techniques, rigid handcuffs and tactical baton training. Although these are repeated on every occasion they occasionally include cell/vehicle extraction (not that we have any), leg restraints etc. We do not have PAVA so don't cover this. We also have a written knowledge check test which must be passed along with competency assessment. We receive separate first aid training so this does not form part of PST. From some Home Office force colleagues I have spoken to it appears some officers only get one day annual refresher and in one force this includes first aid. Now the quality of instruction we receive is excellent, however, I think two days annually is insufficient, never mind one. I just wondered what the picture was nationally, and if officers are receiving only one day training annually isn't it any wonder injuries to officers are sky high. I know some posters are PST instructors so I would particularly welcome hearing from them.
  8. When I started the specials recruitment process I tried to look up a rough timescale/guide, but could not find one anywhere. This is obviously due to individual force's, the individuals that are applying and their personal circumstances. Below is my timeline for South Yorkshire Police and a bit of detail (not to much as something's need to be a surprise), it seems to have gone smoothly so hopefully this is an average timeline. Application form completed – Mid/End of May write it out in rough several times if needed, this is the first major hurdle that many fall at so take you time with it and get it right. First correspondence back to offer dates for assessment day (taken as a woohoo!) - end of June. use this time to read up, there is stuff on the police college site that really helps and you will be sent/emailed stuff. Assessment day (Interview, Situational Judgement and Written) – mid July. Go smart. Interview - as above read up, but more importantly tell how YOU would/ what YOU would and use examples of what YOU have done to show this. IF a timed interview dont let it throw you its amazing how fast the time goes. SJT - again go with you gut, dont over complicate. Written - read the brief well and read up on the Police college website (after i apply section) Vetting Personal - End of July. This is down to you, not a lot i or anyone can do, read the guidance, make sure its correctly filled out/ take your time. Vetting Financial - End of July. Again this is down to you, not a lot i or anyone else on the forum can do, read the guidance, make sure its correctly filled out/ take your time. Doctor’s report and eye test – end of July. Its again down to you, my Doctor was great and didn't charge but that's rare as its all a money making exercise, be ready to pay up front but you normally can get this back. Eye test normally you have to pay for its about £20. Substance Misuse – Mid August. (Drugs alcohol and medication abuse) Now this is one thing i wish i had been told, this was a hair sample for me. But i have very short hair! so to get the sample i ended up looking like a coconut/ bowling ball as they had to take so much for the sample and it took ages to grow back, 3 clear bald patches, thanks! Grow your hair before the test! Also make sure you declare anything you have had from the GP as this can effect but they will tell you this. I had an operation 2 months before so had to get in touch with the hospital and ask what they gave me. Biometric testing – Mid August. Finger prints etc very straight forward. Police Medical – Mid October. Your feel like a lab rat but its all very straight forward. Offer as a special – Start of Nov. EEEK! Training starts – End of Nov. Now the hard work starts! A couple of things (not going to write up the entire training) I did 220hrs (this is just at the training centre not including online learning, come to that in a bit) in 3 1/2 months on top of a full-time high pressured job. So its possible and very enjoyable but be prepared. it affected our childcare and even my wife's working hours, not to mention the weekends and beer! PST (Personal safety training) get ready to get very close to your team mates, Brilliant fun and obviously a very real side to it, "out the back of the wrist for cuffs!" Physical. A basic level of fitness is needed but don't be complacent/caught out, a member of our team was put back due to fitness. NCALTS!! there is going to be a lot of online learning, its the bit no one told us about. be prepared to sit for lots of hours ( and i mean lots) ticking of the mandatory online learning at home. The Law, loads to take in but its amazing how much you learn and how fast, just listen but more importantly ASK, the instructors are cops and have been there done it and really do have the T-shirt to prove it. we spent hours listening to funny stories about their experiences, they will tell if you ask! Role plays and assessments - by the time you are doing them you know what they are testing you for. COMMUNICATION! is the key. its the age old thing of treat as you wish to be treated. Human not robot, speak to the people. but whatever you do don't call them MATE! Get you Hep B booked in and started ASAP, speak to OC health or ask a tutor. Attestation – March 2015! Enjoy it,take your time and absorb the moment, photo time. now it suddenly feels very really and heavy. that Warrant card really does make you re-assess the world around you and what you do. Hope this helps anyone going through the process, its been a hard few months but also extremely enjoyable and worthwhile Now to book my first shift and the next chapter begins. Woody
  9. Matt Swailes

    Basic Training Gear

    Hi Guys Im currently in the application process but if I make it through does anyone have any tips on what " Extra Gear " to take with you to training e.g. Laptop etc?
  10. Hi all, Admittedly this is a long shot but is there anyone who has made the transition over to Gibraltar to become a royal Gibraltar police officer? If so can you give an insight into what this was like and what the training involved whilst over there. I'm currently considering a transition due to the higher wages for police constables and would like to know more than what the website tells you. Any advice would be appreciated.
  11. Hi all, I was having a conversation earlier this evening whilst at dinner with friends about new policing students and advice that they were given either by their tutors, colleagues or just in passing. We all took it in turns and mentioned something and when it came round to me I replied with the trusted 'what you put in is what you will get out'. This got me to thinking though whether any of you guys had been given advice that has helped you in the past and whether you'd be happy to share it here on the forum as it just may help another user if they are going through their training whatever the role may be. Other things that my friends mentioned: Don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't know something Have confidence and don't be afraid to get stuck in Don't allow your emotions to get in the way of your role Be willing to listen and learn
  12. Hi, I recently received my special constable conditional offer from Hampshire Constabulary and have sent off all my vetting, medical and reference forms. My medical is in a few days with the OHU and my fitness test was 2 weeks away but now its been postponed by 6 weeks. I was just wondering if anyone could shed any light on whether I now have to wait for my fitness date in December before I can be given a date for training. The email didn't mention when gateway training would be starting and I thought maybe I'd get the dates for this before my fitness test is complete as I have heard of a few people who begin gateway training before they actually do their fitness test. I know no one can give me an exact answer but I'm just looking for any advice from anyone who has been through the process. Thanks! W
  13. Good Evening Everyone, I've read the forum as a non-paying member for a few months now, however I received my start date on Monday afternoon, so thought it was time to join up and browse some threads further. Intake is 9th April, so first off is anyone else on that date? Will be based in Doncaster once training is done and dusted. Couple of questions for those who have or are currently experiencing training .... 1) What is the accomodation like? (Leaving my fiance and 5 month old baby at home, so going to be a huge and tough change for a few months) 2) Is there a gym at the training facilities for student officers or is it better to use one closer to accomodation? Hugely exciting times and I can't wait to get started now! Any advice would be welcomed!
  14. Can anyone tell me how travel works whilst in training? I will be travelling to spring house using on the trains each day, am i expected to pay for this or will this be covered? Thank you
  15. Hi all, I'm currently going through my police officer application and have reached my medical stage and I'm just awaiting a date to go speak with the force medical team. My question regards pre-reading prior to starting training school have any of you done this and if so did you find it beneficial? I've been considering getting a copy of the latest Blackstones Policing Manual to have a read through so I can better equip myself for when I do finally start training. My current role which is also within the police allows me to have knowledge of law and crime but not to the scale of a police officer? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
  16. tbpolice

    Best Patrol Bag?

    Hello guys, About to start my PC training next month and just wondering what ideas people have for a patrol bag? Not too expensive, one to have that is durable but good value for money. I will be intending to use it during training to fit all my books, lunch etc generally day to day stuff, and then using it once training has finished and onto the real thing! Any suggestions, or previous experience with any would be great.
  17. Jon825

    March 2018 Cohort

    Hey all Been a while since I’ve posted but just found out this week that I’ve been allocated a place on the March 2018 Cohort to begin my training. Absolutely over the moon, just a few questions for anyone who is currently in training or has done it recently. Where do you do your initial stages of training, how long does each stage take and finally what are the working hours while in training? I know I will no doubt receive all this information closer to the start date but thought I’d ask on here see if I can get an insight. Cheers everyone!
  18. 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!
  19. Next year I'm considering making a request for a standard driving course, which whilst not unprecedented, it is unusual for specials in my force. To do this I'm told I need to make a business case, which is what I'm preparing. Does anyone have experience of making such a business case before please, such that they can share the points that they believe were most persuasive? I'd also be interested to know approximately how much the 3 week standard (excluding initial pursuit) course costs if anyone knows. Suggestions on points consider when making the case also appreciated. FYI I'm a 'career special' with 6 years service based in a combined neighborhood and response team in a rural force with some fast roads on the patch. I'm already basic + compliant stop + carrier authorised. Thanks in advance.
  20. Bluebird

    First ever day out

    Hello! So for those who don't know, I'm a student officer with West Midlands. The people up high had decided that it was about time for our first taste of real policing so they booked us an attachment day with real officers doing real things. For my own entertainment as much as yours, I thought I'd make a little post about my first experiences. Date: 19/11/2015 TOD: 0830-1630 Attachment to Neighbourhood Team I arrive at the big city station and immediately find there are about 10 parking spaces to share between about 200 people. Therefore I spend the next 40 minutes panicked and trying to find a space in an area I am totally unfamiliar with whilst manoeuvring the car around alleyways I would pretty much struggle to walk through, never mind drive. There are three others from my class joining me on this attachment and between us we take a lucky pick of which door is the right entrance. We got it wrong. Eventually, however, we find some CS spray and someone arrives to pick us up. We drive down to the local neighbourhood team's station, which was literally nothing more than a glorified portacabin. Introductions around all the team and they seem a really good bunch who know what they're doing and love doing it. I was amazed to see the various nominals posted around the room who were all so young! We are then briefed for the day. The plan was we would join a speed operation. Good timing, as just the week before we'd had a quick go with the speed laser in traffic training. PC Rain was on duty, but we decided to give it a go anyway. Half an hour later, after the full briefing, set up and the monumental task of hunting for the right paperwork, we sit in the van ready to roll out the gate when there's a change of plan. Sergeant gets a call on his radio and we are reassigned. One of my colleagues goes on the speed op as planned, but with reduced numbers. The other two of my colleagues are going to help with executing a search warrant on a complicated alleged historical sex abuse case. Me and the guy looking after me were chosen to start work on a high risk missing person. We go into the office to start our initial research of this missing person. After ten minutes of searching various systems and making loads of useful notes, we're told that actually we'd been given the wrong name. So we do it all again, this time for the correct missing person. I'd recently been trained in use of the missing person database we have, whereas my tutor hadn't, so I ended up teaching him a lot about that. Turns out our misper has a list of medical conditions as long as my arm. Armed with as much information as we could muster in the office, we set off. First call is to check his home address. No reply from the door and so given his medical complications, we’re given authority to force entry Section 17 in order to see if he is inside. It was a small house, only three rooms and all of them pretty messy. He wasn’t in, but all of his medications were. Not good news. Desperate to gain a lead, we start house to house enquiries nearby. I take one side of the road and my colleague takes the other. On the very first door I knock at, a lovely old lady answers the door and she makes no reaction or reply to what I’m saying to her. This gives me a bit of a funny feeling that something doesn’t seem quite right, and just then she drops to the floor like a bag of bricks. I’m slightly impressed I had the reaction quick enough to catch her just before she hits the floor and so my colleague joins me and we get her inside. We ask for an ambulance despite her protests. Long story short, this poor woman was feeling weak and frail and was on various medications which did not seem to have worked. We were also concerned that she was showing some initial signs of confusion onset, which the medics agreed with, so we did all the necessary bits and bobs for a referral to social services. Luckily she had an angel of a neighbour who could support her once she came back out of hospital. Typical, I thought - first day out, first house I come to and something as unexpected as this happens. What an introduction to policing! Having got the lady wheeled off in the much more capable hands of the lovely paramedics, and then getting myself back to task, we continue house to house enquiries. Eventually a few people mention the same name and in the absence of many other leads, we decide to check it out. We hunt for the nearest working PC (which can be quite a battle!) and after running a few intelligence checks we find this name linked through an intelligence log to an address. Excited by this new information, but also full of trepidation at the time elapsed and the medical condition of this person, we rally the troops and eagerly set off to search. I should point out that we were not quite blessed with an exact address, but rather the name of a tower block, which meant a hundred doors or so over six floors to start checking each and every one of them. By some stroke of luck, the first few doors we try have apparently seen our person hanging around the staircases. One person reckon they know which flat precisely and they give us a number. The seven of us traipse up six flights of stairs and I find myself realising for the first time that with all this police kit on, it’s easily an extra couple of stone to my weight, and this would take some getting used to! Of course, the flat in question is right on the top floor and the lifts are out of order so I’m ready for a short nap once we stumble up to the top floor. I was a little horrified to see the edges of the walkways, on which only a thin piece of wood around four feet high stood between us and a six storey drop. Envisioning some elaborate horrible scenario of an angry lunatic bursting out of a random flat and flinging us easily over the barrier, I was practically hugging the wall and sidestepping down to find the right door. Eventually we get there and there’s a sense of nervous excitement in the air as we knock. We make repeated verbal appeals but to no success. Just as I’m about to resign myself, someone inside calls out. “Who is it?” “It’s the police, come to the door please. We’re worried about you, we’d like to speak to you.” Again, a few moments of nervous silence, ended by the relieving sound of the door being unlocked from within. Our missing person opens the door and whilst being as discreet as possible, we all share sly celebrations with each other under our breath and a subtle pat on the back. With a little more talking, our missing person agrees to come down and be assessed by ambulance due to his various medical ailments and missed doctor’s appointments. (When the ambulance arrives it’s the same crew as earlier and they make cheeky comments about me being the bad luck charm!). A colleague of mine takes the chap to one side as we wait for the ambulance and carries out a full missing person debriefing session, which is vitally important to help us understand more about why this person went missing and how we can help them and others in the future. The guy then goes along to hospital after precautionary advice from the paramedics. I glance at my watch and I’m disappointed to see it’s already time for my shift to end. We are driven back to our central station from where we make our own home. I spent the rest of the night buzzing. I accept that, especially to many of you more experienced officers, my day’s activities were not too exciting or ground-breaking and may even be seen by some as mundane and testing, but I really enjoyed it. The true cliché feeling of knowing you’ve helped someone, potentially saved lives today, and the first true feeling of how people deal with you in uniform – these are all emotions I think I could get used to. Bring on day two.
  21. Hello all, Ive got my intensive course starting next week. Any tips ? Also this PT kit does the trainers have to be all white ?
  22. j4321j

    Specials Training Start Date

    Hi, I recently received my special constable conditional offer and have sent off all my vetting, medical and reference forms. My medical is in a few days with the OHU and my fitness test was 2 weeks away but now its been postponed by 6 weeks. I was just wondering if anyone could shed any light on whether I now have to wait for my fitness date in December before I can be given a date for training. The email didn't mention when gateway training would be starting and I thought maybe I'd get the dates for this before my fitness test is complete as I have heard of a few people who begin gateway training before they actually do their fitness test. I know no one can give me an exact answer but I'm just looking for any advice from anyone who has been through the process. Thanks! W
  23. Becca-El

    Force switching

    Afternoon all, A question about the possibility of switching forces. I'm in sixth form college and doing A levels atm but I'd like to join the specials force at the end of March after turning 18 but my question is, I'm planning on going to uni, so how easy is it to switch forces after about 5/6 months (bear in mind much of it will be training and processing the application, that's if I even get in) to whichever force is in the area that my uni is (probably either Manchester or possibly Oxford/somewhere in Scotland). Or is there a way to train in the area I'm at at the moment and then start working as a Special wherever I ended up at uni (how long does training take??) ?? Also I'm confident that I'll have the time at uni as I don't drink (I'm on medication that means I can't) and I thoroughly dislike nights out. I know I'm only gonna be 18 and still a student but I'm fit and healthy (I've run half marathons, cycled 200km, etc.) and feel pretty up to it so yep! Thanks a bunch! Becca-El
  24. On Friday 26th June 2017, less than a week ago, I passed out as a PC. Since my last update, training has been a mixture a three week response driving course, final knowledge checks and consolidation days, parade practice and our pass out parade. Our standard response driving course was incredible and by far one of the best parts of the 26 week training course. We traveled up and down the force every day at crazy speeds and I loved every second of it, blue lights especially! The final driving test was so nerve-wracking, so much more scary than my actual driving test, and passing with only three minors left me absolutely over the moon and so ready to jump in a job car for real. Since finishing the driving course, we've been back in HQ for some frantic, last-minute lessons that we've missed throughout the six months and preparation for our Pass Out parade which would soon be coming up. And it did soon come! With our final week having finally arrived, I think a weird sense of bitter-sweet came over all of us, including our trainers. The day we'd all been waiting and wishing for since the day we got our acceptances, and now that it was finally here, we were sad for training to be coming to an end. The bond that we made as a group was something I never thought would happen in such a short time. The friends I have made on the training course are ones I know I will be mates with for life, a reminder of where we all started and a friendly face to turn to in times of need. The day of our Pass Out soon came around and with bulled boots and pressed uniform, we all lined up ready to march in in front of all of our family and friends for a final farewell. I've never felt more proud of myself, and those around me, in my whole life. I cannot believe the amount I have learnt in the past six months and even more so cannot believe that it's over. Our trainer calls us to attention and we all individually get called up to receive our certificates and shake the chiefs hand. Then come the awards, the Highest Achiever going to the officer who is coming to my station with me, who deserved such an award so much for all his hard work, the Most Improved award for one of the single mums on the course who has improved in confidence every single day since day one, and the Chief Constables Award for Outstanding Achievement, which was awarded to one of the best friends I've ever made in my whole life, a girl who deserved it more than anyone else in the world and who was born to be PC. I am so proud of all of us for making it this far and every single one of the people I trained with will make excellent officers! I think the realisation has hit me now that this is it, it's finally time to get out there for real. I've never been so nervous but excited in my life! I've also never cried as much as I did on our last day, realising that most of us will be working opposite ends of a very large force and some of us may never cross paths again. But I'm so ready for the start of the real training, my tutorship out on division, which will last 15 weeks, and the rest of my career in such an amazing job. Yesterday, I met John Sutherland, author of 'Blue: A Memoir, Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces', a man who has quickly become an inspiration to me and who's book I highly recommend to everyone, whether in the job or not. Bring on Sunday and my first ever shift as a PC!! Thank you for reading x
  25. 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, Alice.

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