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LosingGrip

Staying a Special because you enjoy it

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LosingGrip

I've been a Special for eight years.  It was meant to be a stepping stone to joining the regulars.  See if I like it before applying etc.  

Safe to say I love it.  I do well above the hours I need to.  Last year it was 1,500+ the year before was 1,400+.  I've had some fantastic opportunities over the years from driver training to TV shows.  I still look forward to going on duty.  

My plan had always been to join the regulars.  The last year or so I'm not too sure if I want to do it.  I've got my assessment day in May, but I'm tempted to withdraw from it.  I've started looking at a new career (driving instructor if anyone is interested) and staying as a Special.  

I think its down to loving being a Special too much.  I work on an amazing team.  I've had some fantastic training over the last year or two (drug wipe, FIT, PNC, standard driving).  Part of me doesn't want to leave the team.  I would want to get back on it ASAP, but its going to be years down the line.  I also love the flexibility I have.  I can text my SGT on the day and I'm always welcome, and if need be I can cancel on the day and it isn't a problem (I don't like doing this mind you!).  

Has anyone else decided to stay being a Special rather than applying for the regulars?  

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Buck

Yes i have. I toyed with the idea of joining the Regulars when i first joined the specials, but now with 7 years in I have absolutely no intention of it. I like the flexibility of (largely) being able to come and go as I please and not have to deal with the cancelled Rest Days and working through Xmas and Birthdays etc. Although my current force are somewhat behind the curve, in general Specials are getting more and more training and responsibilities so the role should only get more interesting and worthwhile as time goes on...

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Policey_Man

This is an interesting topic. I loved being a Special and there are times now when I wonder whether I should have stayed doing that, instead of becoming a reg. I have certainly got more skills and had a varied career though joining as a reg and then promotion and more responsibilities and thus the ability to have a bigger impact on things are things that I wouldn't have been able to do as a Special. Like you, I did a heck of a lot of hours as a Special alongside a full time job, so in a way, I almost had two full time jobs. Now I just have one and there is more 'me time' and 'family time'.

I understand that concerns that you're having about leaving your team you work on as a Special - and then inevitably as the probationer on your new team, you'll get more of the rubbish jobs and you'll have to prove your worth again. But you are more likely to get more opportunities and development as a reg than staying a Special. And sometimes, it is good to be pushed into doing other things. If you've been with this team for a while, maybe it's time to try something different?

The career you're considering, as a driving instructor, is still something you can pursue in your rest days and spare time thus increasing your income. If policing doesn't work out, then you could always go back to being a Special and your driving instructor business will already be set up and established. Unfortunately, the career I left would be hard to go back to now and a lot of people have this problem.

It's a hard decision, but on balance, you can do both in whichever way you look at it, but at least if you become a PC you'll be getting paid for doing both!

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Mazza

I gave up the Specials to become a regular and in some ways I regret it. I got put in a completely different subdivision from the ones I’d worked in, a far far quieter CPT than what I’m used to, and I find it quite difficult to go from being exceptionally busy to at time extremely quiet. That said I still love the job and I couldn’t do anything else, because it is still the same job just in a different area.

If the things you like about being a Special are dependent on your team, CPT, section, whatever, then don’t join the job. If you couldn’t care less then crack on and get the driving instructor stuff on the side.

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DB11

I love being a PC but it's like a different job to when I was a regular. That's not because of the PC/SC divide but because when I joined student officers got placed in investigation units as there was no requirement for cops on response. All the new joiners now are getting put on response so I sometimes wish I'd joined at a different time lol

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Mac7
I've been a Special for eight years.  It was meant to be a stepping stone to joining the regulars.  See if I like it before applying etc.  
Safe to say I love it.  I do well above the hours I need to.  Last year it was 1,500+ the year before was 1,400+.  I've had some fantastic opportunities over the years from driver training to TV shows.  I still look forward to going on duty.  
My plan had always been to join the regulars.  The last year or so I'm not too sure if I want to do it.  I've got my assessment day in May, but I'm tempted to withdraw from it.  I've started looking at a new career (driving instructor if anyone is interested) and staying as a Special.  
I think its down to loving being a Special too much.  I work on an amazing team.  I've had some fantastic training over the last year or two (drug wipe, FIT, PNC, standard driving).  Part of me doesn't want to leave the team.  I would want to get back on it ASAP, but its going to be years down the line.  I also love the flexibility I have.  I can text my SGT on the day and I'm always welcome, and if need be I can cancel on the day and it isn't a problem (I don't like doing this mind you!).  
Has anyone else decided to stay being a Special rather than applying for the regulars?  



My only advice is that things can change very quickly. I’ve worked on some amazing teams but personnel and supervisors tend to move around after a period of time and the team dynamics can change. Also, teams can be disbanded. I’ve enjoyed every role I’ve had within the police (to date) and have moved around when I believed I had taken everything from the role I could, or gained sufficient experience to propel me into the next role. Had I stayed in previous roles any longer I personally think I would have become stale and missed out on opportunities. It is difficult to leave a good team but I suppose it comes down to what you want from a police career or what you want personally. People do become comfortable and sometimes afraid of taking a leap out of there comfort zones. You may soon find out that you have peaked in the specials and have received all the training the specials can offer without joining full time.

Having said all the above, if you are happy then why not stay where you are.

All the best and it’s refreshing to hear positivity.
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danswans

I enjoyed being a special albeit for only a year and a half, however I am happy I’m now a regular and doing it full time. I also had teams which I worked with and aligned my shifts to work with that team but as many have said, you will move on and establish yourself within a new team. Your skills as a special which you’ve mentioned above will assist your new team greatly should they allow you to transfer them across and if it is something you choose to do. Only you can make the decision unfortunately. All I would say is full time policing is a lot harder and strenuous to specials. You have a work load to manage which ultimately adds extra stress, reports to investigate and deal with all whilst trying to manage call demand and other requirements. It is hard work but if you fancy it, go for it.

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Policey_Man
5 hours ago, Mac7 said:

All the best and it’s refreshing to hear positivity.

 

 

 

Don't encourage that or we'll have to come find you and educate you appropriately :P 

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Mac7
Don't encourage that or we'll have to come find you and educate you appropriately  


I always said I would not be a moaner when I joined the job. I still stick to that 10 years later. I’ll have a good moan about the government but not work.

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Policey_Man
2 hours ago, Mac7 said:

I always said I would not be a moaner when I joined the job. I still stick to that 10 years later. I’ll have a good moan about the government but not work.

 

 

It won't last. It gets everyone eventually.

Though I admire your attempts.

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Mac7
It won't last. It gets everyone eventually.
Though I admire your attempts.



I did say to myself the day I start moaning is the day I leave.
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Eddzz!!
Posted (edited)

Being a Special and a PC are worlds apart in real terms. As a Special you get to come and go as you please, enjoy all the good aspects of the job and none of the muck.

That said, you will never investigate real crime as a Special and some of the doors that are open to PCs will always be closed for you so long as you remain an SC. Depends what you're interested in. If you want to be a bobby on the beat for the rest of your life then I don't really see the benefit in leaving the SCs to become a PC.

Edited by Eddzz!!

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Sceptre
24 minutes ago, Eddzz!! said:

That said, you will never investigate real crime as a Special...

What exactly do you regard as "real crime"?

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Eddzz!!
3 hours ago, Sceptre said:

What exactly do you regard as "real crime"?

I knew that would trigger someone. A "real" crime. Something  that requires an in-depth investigation where a couple of weekends work a month won't suffice. 

But then that's just being a Speical. You aren't expected to commit to a workload.

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Sceptre
11 hours ago, Eddzz!! said:

I knew that would trigger someone. A "real" crime. Something  that requires an in-depth investigation where a couple of weekends work a month won't suffice. 

But then that's just being a Speical. You aren't expected to commit to a workload.

Perhaps you knew it would trigger someone because it's a foolish and ill-considered thing to say. Are the initial actions at a burglary or a domestic not some of the most crucial parts of the investigation? Would it be a real crime to you if it was your house being burgled?

Your prejudices about what constitutes investigating and what constitutes real crime aside, being a special is what people choose to make of it and out of sixteen thousand up and down the country while it might not be expected of them I guarantee you there are people conducting proper investigations and carrying workloads of sorts. The biggest barrier to specials reaching their potential isn't training or experience or being part-time but that sort of preconceived attitude about what they should and shouldn't do.

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