SgtGolden

Met or BTP Special.

18 posts in this topic

Good evening,

I hope you are all having a good week. I have this topic and decision on my shoulders to which I would love to hear your views. I am currently studying acting and have been planning to become a Special Constable for some time. However, I am now facing the strangely hard decision in which I am wondering if I should apply for the Metropolitan Police or British Transport Police. I am interested and like both forces, however, I am finding it hard to make a decision for which force to apply. Any views or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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Posted (edited)

28 minutes ago, SgtGolden said:

Good evening,

I hope you are all having a good week. I have this topic and decision on my shoulders to which I would love to hear your views. I am currently studying acting and have been planning to become a Special Constable for some time. However, I am now facing the strangely hard decision in which I am wondering if I should apply for the Metropolitan Police or British Transport Police. I am interested and like both forces, however, I am finding it hard to make a decision for which force to apply. Any views or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

They're both very different and will have their positives/negatives to go with that. The general consensus on BTP is that it is location dependent as to what sort of duties you do. Some areas are very good. When it comes to the Met, there's so many officers that it will be a very impersonal experience, however you may find that you're doing more of what you'd think of as 'policing'.

So my question to you would be where in London roughly do you live, and where do you want to special? And then from that there might be a better answer.

Edited by Klaus
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17 minutes ago, Klaus said:

They're both very different and will have their positives/negatives to go with that. The general consensus on BTP is that it is location dependent as to what sort of duties you do. Some areas are very good. When it comes to the Met, there's so many officers that it will be a very impersonal experience, however you may find that you're doing more of what you'd think of as 'policing'.

So my question to you would be where in London roughly do you live, and where do you want to special? And then from that there might be a better answer.

 
 
 
 

Thank you for the reply. I currently live in South London. To be honest, when it comes to the BTP I was mainly thinking Clapham Junction Station, Victoria or Waterloo. Maybe even Richmond. However, it really depends on where they will need more Specials.

For the Met, right now it is hard to think my three area choices, however, Richmond/Twickenham will be an interesting place for me. 

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My only experience of Richmond borough is working there once during the World Cup. In the entirety of a late shift (2pm-10pm) there was only one I grade (emergency call) for the whole borough and it was one of the most boring days I've ever had!

However, on the flip side from that I met a special who works there and he said it's great as he can just take a car and drive around and do whatever he wants 'looking good and having fun' because there's so little demand.


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Posted (edited)

BTP!!!!

 

But then I'm biased.

 

All I'm going to say is that the two are noticably different to each other.

 

To use a sports analogy - it's not like choosing between two different rugby teams, it's more like choosing between Rugby League or Rugby Union.

Both play rugby but to a totally different set of rules.

Unfortunately I cant provide too much insite into what BTP is like specifically as a special in London as I'm out in the counties, however, for example - I just had my first aid refresher in BTP today. The trainer came from Leeds and the first and last time I met her was my 4hr refresher last year - but she remembered me and remembered I work for the ambulance service - a far more personal experience than my 5 years with Leics including 5 annual Officer safety refreshers, 5 annual first aid refreshers, 3 annual Lvl3 Public Order refreshers, 2 search training events, 6 events as stooges for the public order/officer safety training team and 6 months on the TSG working closely with the training team and they still didnt know who I was when I asked to borrow their spare carrier for an event 2 months before I left...

Wheras in BTP when I walk into a station I'm greeted with "Hey Burnie! What you been up to? Not seen you for a few weeks. How's Mrs Burnie?" - I've been here 2 years. I was a special in Leicestershire for 5 years, at the same station the entire time, on response the whole time yet (except for a handful of officers) I was still referred to as 'the special'.

On our way to incidents - "Yep I'm double crewed, me and a special" or "Yep allocate me to that one, theres a special with me too"

In briefings - "Dave can you take the special with you? Sorry, whats your name again pal?" It's Burnie - same as it was last week when I last worked with you....

 

Within BTP I've been made to feel very much like part of the team. I've been made to feel very much like a part time officer - someone who is just as valuable but just not there as often, not like a part trained officer like I was made to feel in Leicestershire.

 

Also in BTP we do anything and everything! 2 weeks ago I was helping investigate an attempted murder, today I was travelling between 2 major cities helping reassure people they were going to be safe once they got to London, last week I travelled 100 miles to St Pancras as part of a travelling public order team to support our colleagues there and next week I'll be dealing with visitors to the Leicester v Stoke football game, 2 months ago I was the only BTP officer for my whole area (such is the trust they have in me) and 5 months ago I was out with the specialist medics we have in London and alongside that I've been put forward for 2 major training opportunities (with 2 more potentially subject to policy sign-off) and being encouraged to apply for promotion.

I have far more enjoyment, independence, support and opportunities within BTP than I did with Leicestershire (as well as far more options to deal with incidents thanks to the bylaws) - even if we do have less incidents to deal with (though this means we can spend time investigating things to a far greater extent)

Edited by Burnie
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I agree with @Burnie - again I work in the Eastern division of BTP but I'm treated as part of the team and everyone knows everyone pretty much within your station and after a short while you'll know lots of people. Training is also a big thing, there's lots of development opportunities within BTP and pretty much everything barring firearms and taser is available now!

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Thank you for the wonderful posts! it is amazing to hear people's views. 

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The other thing to consider is are you intending on becoming a regular officer subsequently? If so, then the met is far easier to get into as the standard for entry is much lower. Not necessarily a good thing but worth considering.

As a met SC, all you need is to gain your independent patrol status which takes a few months, and complete 200 hours, then you can transfer to be a regular with the only requirement being that you pass a reduced assessment centre at a pass mark of only 50%.


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58 minutes ago, Klaus said:

The other thing to consider is are you intending on becoming a regular officer subsequently? If so, then the met is far easier to get into as the standard for entry is much lower. Not necessarily a good thing but worth considering.

As a met SC, all you need is to gain your independent patrol status which takes a few months, and complete 200 hours, then you can transfer to be a regular with the only requirement being that you pass a reduced assessment centre at a pass mark of only 50%.

@Klaus I've heard from someone that the Met are now introducing a minimum 1 year as an SC before you can apply to be a Special. Haven't seen this confirmed anywhere in writing yet.

To the OP: It doesn't surprise me that you're more likely to be known and recognised in BTP or county forces. The Met is soooooo big, you are just going to be one of a number. But Klaus does make some good points that where you choose is likely to be influenced by what you're joining for. I wouldn't particularly want to join somewhere like Richmond, but somewhere you could get exposed to a lot of different things and a busy place, perhaps Westminster or Ealing, would offer you a lot of policing experience.

So, tell us why you want to be a Special and it might help us give some good advice?

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Well, I am currently in education and will be for some time while I study the craft of acting. I have personally been interested in law enforcement from a very young age and have always wished to become a Constable. However, acting has taken the larger part of my life and will most likely continue to be my main career, however, I don't want to give up on a dream in joining the police. So, I believe that if I have the ability to become a Special not only will I do something which I wanted to do for years but also be able to support the public and other officers. So, I will most likely not be looking into becoming a regular officer for the time being.

Another reason that I can think of is the skills and knowledge that you are able to gain as a Special. I am also someone who loves a challenge while he works and I do believe I will be able to have a challenge as a Special. On top of that, knowing that every shift is not the same makes me even more interested. I love being around people and being there for everyone. Having the ability to work as part of a wonderful team will be amazing. Also, for some strange reason, I am interested in public order (public order training) and the way the police deal with large events or large disturbance. I have been mainly focused on BTP because I use the rail network daily and it has become a part of my life. I have seen the good side of the network and also have seen the bad side. So, being able to serve as a Special Constable in the BTP has been more interesting to me than the Met really. Thank you for the amazing replies. It just shows why I don't regret joining this community.  

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2 hours ago, Policey_Man said:

@Klaus I've heard from someone that the Met are now introducing a minimum 1 year as an SC before you can apply to be a Special. Haven't seen this confirmed anywhere in writing yet.

This is confirmed in writing. All MSC who attested from 01/01/2017 must do a minimum of one year prior to being eligible to join the regular service, entitled the 'Defined Training Period'.

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18 minutes ago, Posh said:

This is confirmed in writing. All MSC who attested from 01/01/2017 must do a minimum of one year prior to being eligible to join the regular service, entitled the 'Defined Training Period'.

It's the same for BTP SC to PC - minimum tenure period of one year as a SC before you can apply internally as a PC - no restriction on being IPS though.

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14 hours ago, Posh said:

This is confirmed in writing. All MSC who attested from 01/01/2017 must do a minimum of one year prior to being eligible to join the regular service, entitled the 'Defined Training Period'.

Not a bad thing. By the time you count up training school for weeks or months, then coached patrol, then PACs, then SOROC most people would be pushed to do it in much less than a year anyway.

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Does anyone know the eyesight requirement for BTP Specials? I have been trying to find it but it has been hard to find.

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On 24/03/2017 at 13:59, Policey_Man said:

Not a bad thing. By the time you count up training school for weeks or months, then coached patrol, then PACs, then SOROC most people would be pushed to do it in much less than a year anyway.

It's from attestation so training school is excluded from the time served requirement.

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