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Do you police the same area you live, and if so have criminals you dealt with recognized you off duty?


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Equin0x

Do officers generally prefer to police in the same area they live, or in a different area? Obvious advantage I can see of policing the same area you live is that you know the area well, know what's going on, know the locals. But then that last bit cuts both ways, and you might encounter people you've dealt with on your weekly shop. Has this ever happened and did you get any hassle, or do people often not recognize you when without the uniform?

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Reasonable Man

 I have done both and whilst naturally you are more likely to see people you have dealt with in your own town the number of occasions was surprisingly small. 
I have had to deal with a couple of domestics by neighbours when I used to go home for my meal break, which I’d have preferred not too. 
I was mainly concerned about grief my kids may have got for having a dad who was a copper but I never heard that they did. 

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SimonT

I used to. Got started on a few times, out shopping, in the pub. 

I never went drinking without my section, ever. 

Now I'm well away and live in blissful ignorance.b

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BizzieBee
9 hours ago, Equin0x said:

Do officers generally prefer to police in the same area they live, or in a different area? Obvious advantage I can see of policing the same area you live is that you know the area well, know what's going on, know the locals. But then that last bit cuts both ways, and you might encounter people you've dealt with on your weekly shop. Has this ever happened and did you get any hassle, or do people often not recognize you when without the uniform?

I’ve policed in the same area where I grew up, which wasn’t a very nice area to say the least. Dealt with people I knew, to a degree, and someone who I grew up with who found a less than desirable path as we grew older.  

In terms of being recognised by those you’ve dealt with, some people do and some don’t. In my experience, most don’t and only see the uniform. But it depend on the circumstance. Of those who have recognised me, it’s been more positive than anything. I treat people as I find them. Sometimes I treat people better than as I find them. Communication is key. If you deal with people in a fair, amicable way as a matter of course, there’s rarely a need to worry as they know the score. 

Obviously every one is different, as is the place where you police and the role you’re in, etc. 

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Beaker

I've done both, currently working where I live and grew up.  I prefer working my local area rather than a place I don't know. 

Been recognised a couple of times, one of the local supermarket security guards for instance is familiar with me as I often go out collecting video and other things.  Been recognised by people I've dealt with a few times, only once got an agressive comment from the junkie while picking up a prescription.  He got told to shut it by the pharmacist before I could say anything. 

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Wilts20

Interesting topic. One of my colleagues in my current job actually said that a lady she knew who joined the police did not like it at all, as she works in her hometown (and lives there) and as it is a relatively small place, knows all the 'bad' things that go on under the surface. Then again they've just got a brand new police station, so ups and downs!

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XA84
On 03/06/2021 at 12:42, Equin0x said:

Do officers generally prefer to police in the same area they live, or in a different area? Obvious advantage I can see of policing the same area you live is that you know the area well, know what's going on, know the locals. But then that last bit cuts both ways, and you might encounter people you've dealt with on your weekly shop. Has this ever happened and did you get any hassle, or do people often not recognize you when without the uniform?

A very good question, I dare say that it depends on where you live. 

I have previously worked as a special constable where I've bumped into a few people whilst out and about which was interesting. There was once a time when I went with a colleague to lock a guy up from down the road from where I live, we walked in and for the life of me I didn't recognise them but apparently they knew me and from school. Whilst I was reading the riot act and popping on their cuffs the guy in question began to try asking for my name saying that he knew me somehow but couldn't place me. Given the guy was getting a bit more aggressive at being locked up he managed to recall my first name (well because my colleague said it as we were leaving). He carried on trying to place me saying did we go to school together and he couldn't think of my surname. Anyway we get to custody and it had puzzled the guy so much that he wasn't even angry anymore he just wanted to place me so he could put his mind at ease. He was saying "I'm not going to hurt you or anything I'm just trying to think how and where I know you from". We went to put the chap in the cells at which point he remembered who I was and where he knew me from, from school... he realised that he was going in the cell and began to have a hissy fit and started trying to fight and quickly got taken to the floor. It was then I received all the threats and abuse but it didn't bother me too much. One thing you'll learn quickly in the job (or I certainly have) it's the quiet ones that worry me more. People making threats I figure is just hot air but the ones who stay quiet and let their rage boil over are the ones I watch very closely. Anyway about 18 months later I was at the gym and he walked in, and walked straight over to me and grabbed my hand (to my surprise) and then started shaking it. I was like what are you doing get off of me, but he was like "no, I wanted to thank you, getting sent to prison really helped me, I managed to get myself clean and I've turned my life around. I'm working now and I'm trying to get my health and wellbeing up. I've a daughter now whose my world and I promised her and my wife that I won't ever go back." 

My current role is within custody which always makes me laugh as I'll usually see people who have been with us in custody shopping or out and about and their faces as they try to place me are hilarious, by the time they've worked it out though I'm long gone. I once was in a queue at the supermarket and a guy offered me to go in front of him as I only had a couple of items but he had a full trolley load, when he noticed it was me he was like, "nah fuck that, you can go behind me". He was ok though just moaned about how the system always gets him and he's not a victim at all. 

I am of course aware though that I have been very lucky so far that nobody has taken a serious grudge and wanted to chin me but ultimately I know it can happen. I'd always be very weary of policing the specific area where you live... what would you do if you were sent to your neighbours house and had to lock them up. It could make your life hell.. a colleague once had to do that and he ended up having to move over it. 

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Beaker
8 hours ago, XA84 said:

What would you do if you were sent to your neighbours house and had to lock them up. It could make your life hell.. a colleague once had to do that and he ended up having to move over it. 

 

I've declined that type of job, and was backed up by supervision when Dispatcher tried to force it on me, then the team leader tried as well.  Inspector tasked it to someone else, and then went up to comms and called them some choice names.

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