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Found 85 results

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. Buckbeak

    Boots

    Hi all, I begin my PCSO training at BTP next month. I'm, currently looking to buy my boots and from looking on this forum I understand it's mainly between Magnums, Lowa and Alt-bergs. What I wanted to know is, am I going to need to have my boots for my first day's training or will it be further on down my 7-week training program? Also, if anyone has any recommended style from the three brands mentioned, please let me know. Thanks
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. Sibbotson13

    Met Police training

    I have a lot of questions so if anyone can help me that would be brilliant. Im currently waiting on attending my Day 2 for the met which ill be doing in a couple of weeks. Im also waiting on my CKP exam on the 7th may. Assuming i pass both of these does anyone know when i might start training and if so where? Is, if any, training residential? and finally does anyone know the breakdown of training week by week or even length. I havent been told very much. Id appreciate any help! Thanks S
  9. 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.
  10. LcWoodward

    Training 19th March

    So after all the worrying and getting through various assessments. I start my training with SY police on the 19th, can't wait to get started and under no illusions that this is where the hard work begins. Anyone else starting with SY soon?
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Quickone

    Start in a couple of months

    Hi, I'm due to start police training in a couple of months and I have a couple of questions, What are the first few weeks of training like, will there be assessments straight away? Are you supplied with all the information you need to study for assessments or will I need to purchase extra material? If you fail an assessment, do you get any option to re-take it? I received my welcome pack through the post with basic information I need to know, I've already booked an appointment to have my uniform fitted and I am planning on ordering a pair of Altberg boots, but is there anymore preparation I need to do before starting training? Sorry for all the questions I know they will probably differ from force to force. Thanks. I should also add that I am completely new to policing and haven't done anything like this before.
  17. Jon825

    Starting March 2018

    Hi All Due to start training in March 2018 after a two and a half year wait, been a long haul but over the moon to see the light at the end of the tunnel now. Just have a few questions for anyone recently in training or one of the all knowing admins, I know these will vary from force to force, just looking for a general insight really. What are the first months of training like, what type of training is it (classroom, role plays, shadowing etc)? What are the shift patterns when you first begin training? What are your training milestones you must pass (tests, coursework etc), and how often are these? I know I will receive all this information closer to my start date but just itching to find out as much as I can Thanks Everyone
  18. Hello all, Ive got my intensive course starting next week. Any tips ? Also this PT kit does the trainers have to be all white ?
  19. MollyBC94

    BTP PCSO training

    Hi is there anyone that has gone through this process that could shed a little light on what happens while we there. such as any exams and what happens when begin Sworn in.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Jon825

    How Much Longer?!

    Hi all, hope everyone is well. Got an email this morning saying my Biometric Vetting appointment is in 3 weeks. It is literally the last thing I was waiting on so if successful the next stage I assume would be starting training. It's coming up on 2 years since I applied and a year and a half since Assessment Centre and Interview. I've passed my medical, fitness test and vetting. My question is, does anybody know how long after all stages are complete are you likely to be offered a start date? I know it's a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' question but was wondering if anyone else is in a similar position playing the old waiting game.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. PC Kelly Ellis is one of an increasing number of UK police officers who are undertaking firearms training. Her friends have dubbed her Lara Croft - after the Tomb Raider action hero - but she says the training is the hardest thing she has ever done. Over three months, Dominic Casciani - reporting for the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme - had unique access to some of the new recruits being assessed in Cheshire. Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39260906

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