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bensonby

Transferring from E&W to Scotland?

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bensonby

My wife's parents are potentially retiring to Dumfries in the not too distant future and the idea of transferring north of the border has come up. It would help with child care and allow us to be near them as they get older. I'm not 100% convinced by the idea but I can see the merits in moving: there would be the added bonus that I could either be mortgage-free or upgrade to a much nicer house compared with what I have in the London-area.

This is a very early fact-finding stage and I'm not set on the move - indeed, before this morning I didn't even realise a transfer was possible. I'm currently a PC in the Met with nearly 8 years service. I'm in a specialised (although not too specialised!) role. Up until a year ago I was a bog-standard uniformed neighbourhood cop, before that I was a response cop.

So, my questions are:

 

- Is there anyone on here who has made the change over? How did it go? How was learning a new legal system? Was there a big culture change?

- What's the Dumfries/border area like? What's it like to live? What's it like to police? I was looking at Lockerbie as it seemed to have good transport links to both Edinburgh and Glasgow (thinking about potential jobs for the wife) but also back down South. Is there anyone you would definitely not want to live/work?

- What is morale like? I would imagine it is better than most forces down south. What are promotion/job prospects like for specialist roles? I currently do a very interesting, albeit niche, role and fully accept that I will have to go back to being a response or neighbourhood cop - that doesn't bother me but if there are prospects of moving into other departments a few years down the line then I'd like to: part of me sees going back to response would be something of a "backward step". I have a friend who moved to a small English force and he said that everything was pretty much "dead man's shoes" and that you would need to expect to spend 30 years in uniform. One of the benefits of the Met is the absolutely huge range of jobs available.

- On a rather more silly note, how would being an English Cop in Scotland go down? Both with colleagues and with the public. I can see myself getting plenty of ribbing.... but would there be downright hostility from the "customers"? (more so than usual).

- Are there any particular areas that people would recommend to live/work?

- Are there any other comments or pointers anyone would make?

 

 

In terms of next steps I'm weighing up my options: Police Scotland are currently recruiting transferees  and I'm seriously thinking of putting in an application. It seem like a long process so I would have plenty of time for fact finding and house hunting. In the meantime I'm thinking of making a little scoping trip up there to see what I think of the place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by bensonby

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Mazza

How often would you want the in-laws to help with childcare?  That will really decide where you can/can't go.

I'm a serving PSoS Special so might be able to help with a couple of your queries:

 

- Is there anyone on here who has made the change over? How did it go? How was learning a new legal system? Was there a big culture change?

I know many folks who have made the change over and didn't find it that difficult - you will get sent to Tulliallan (police college) to retrain in the Scottish ways but I know cops who are ex-Met who have transferred and find it fine.  It's not a vastly different legal system really, and as for our arrest/detention system we are hopefully moving to something that looks a little more like PACE in the near future.

- What's the Dumfries/border area like? What's it like to live? What's it like to police? I was looking at Lockerbie as it seemed to have good transport links to both Edinburgh and Glasgow (thinking about potential jobs for the wife) but also back down South. Is there anyone you would definitely not want to live/work?

I've never really been to Dumfries so can't advise on that but it's pretty far away from Edinburgh/Glasgow - 70 mile or longer commute, with morning traffic... will take you the best of 1.5-2 hours each way which is an unusual commute length for up here.

- What is morale like? I would imagine it is better than most forces down south. What are promotion/job prospects like for specialist roles? I currently do a very interesting, albeit niche, role and fully accept that I will have to go back to being a response or neighbourhood cop - that doesn't bother me but if there are prospects of moving into other departments a few years down the line then I'd like to: part of me sees going back to response would be something of a "backward step". I have a friend who moved to a small English force and he said that everything was pretty much "dead man's shoes" and that you would need to expect to spend 30 years in uniform. One of the benefits of the Met is the absolutely huge range of jobs available.

Morale, well, that's another story dependent on where you are.  Up in the north there's a lot of cops who left when it went from legacy to Police Scotland and we have a lot of cops that stayed and are always giving it the old "in my day it was better because of X, Y and Z".  We have had cuts too, so staffing and resources are sometimes an issue, but overall, the morale from what I've experienced has been quite good.

In terms of promotion and job prospects, there's always loads of internal adverts to go into specialist units.  The good thing about Police Scotland is that it's a rather large force (second in the country I think?) so there are lots of progression opportunities and specialist training available like firearms etc., if you were based down in the Glasgow area you'd probably be pretty well off with opportunities I'd imagine.

- On a rather more silly note, how would being an English Cop in Scotland go down? Both with colleagues and with the public. I can see myself getting plenty of ribbing.... but would there be downright hostility from the "customers"? (more so than usual).

No, doubt it.  We have loads of cops up here that are English and Irish, it's the only way they could get into the police because their forces weren't recruiting.  Especially if you move to the borders, I'd imagine you'd get a lot of English cops.  And honestly, Scottish people don't hate English people, it's a total fallacy that has somehow perpetuated throughout the years.  You know what it's like, if custodies don't like you, they'll find anything to slag you off with!

- Are there any particular areas that people would recommend to live/work?

We've had a few Met transferees up here in the North and they seem to enjoy it, we are always looking for cops up here, and if you like the great outdoors it's a pretty nice place.  However if you want to be in an area most similar to the Met, Glasgow's your best bet.

- Are there any other comments or pointers anyone would make?

I would definitely advise getting up here for a few visits, and even maybe visiting a couple of offices up here so you can get an idea of how it's done?

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Milankovitch

I think every transferee I've ever met said the two week conversion course at Tulliallan wasn't long enough. I think the law really is quite different here despite some of the similarities. I think @Better than jeebs used to serve down south as a Special so should be able to comment on the legal side of things a bit better/

 

Dumfries might be a bit "slow" if you're used to London. Huge beats, few cops. D&G was a fairly prehistoric force by all accounts, speaking to a colleague who moved from D&G most PCs didn't get email until this decade... If it is anything like this part of Scotland (similar rural geography) outside of their probation most people have to pick up a specialisation of some sort as there isn't a team for dealing with everything.

 

It wouldn't just be Glasgow or a career as a response PC but like anywhere there are more opportunities in the cities. Each division has specialist teams like traffic, certain flavours of CID, violence reduction unit etc. Then there are a number of national divisions that cover all sorts of things like public order, other CID types, traffic (again) and so on. If you were qualified for promotion down south you'd also be eligible up here without having to do the diploma which seems a bit mad to me given the differences but there you go!

 

Commuting to Glasgow from Lockerbie would be a bind to say the least (although I know some people who love a long commute) and you're looking at at least two hours to get to Edinburgh at peak times. Would hope your wife likes driving! Probably far more feasible going to somewhere like Carlisle although in the winter the A74(M) can be pretty dreadful.

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bensonby

Thanks for the pointers. There certainly seems a bit of a conflict in that the practical place to live (if the in-laws were in Dumfries) would be in Lockerbie or the surrounding area. But it seems a bit of a labourious commute to Edinburgh or Glasgow and looking at the numbers Dumfries and Galloway has the lowest number of officers by far. If we moved Glasgow or Edinburgh it would sort of defeat one of the main purposes of transferring to Scotland (childcare and being near them when they get older).

 

Lots of food for thought.

 

(re promotion, I do hold a OSPRE exam pass but it expires early next year so it won't really apply - unless I retake next year)

 

 

 

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Mazza

On the upside you'd probably get to see a lot of variation in crime like livestock worrying, theft of agricultural vehicles/equipment, some interesting stuff if you like variety and you don't want to deal with shopliftings, assaults, and domestics all the live long day.

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Milankovitch

Still plenty of that out in the sticks, I don't think we do as much "rural" policing as the city cops seem to think!

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Mazza

Oh for sure but you're not likely to get a livestock worrying case in central London...

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Phil
9 hours ago, Mazza said:

Oh for sure but you're not likely to get a livestock worrying case in central London...

Sent from my iPhone using Police Community

You say that but I've seen a horse rider arrested for neglect and the horse taken into care in Soho.

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cakefairy37

Following. Married to a postman with two young kids ( under5). Currently a DC in a large county force. The old folks want to move to Edinburgh or Peebles. Mums from Edinburgh ( me too) and family still up there...

Unsure what to do. ...I'd love it but scared and worried about learning all the new laws etc

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Scot

To be honest, I wouldn't worry about learning new laws. The Scottish criminal system is about to go through one of the biggest shake ups since 1995 so we will all be learning, not just yourselves! 

@bensonby , The borders is a glorious area of Scotland. As far as I am aware there's no split difference between neighbourhood and response in D&G - you're just one big shift and you get assigned community related calls whilst still responding to your higher graded incidents. Certainly would be a bit of shock if you had a scrap and realised that you're back up to Lockerbie is coming from Dumfries. 

As Milankovitch elaborated on, because there's fewer Officer's you'll find yourself being trained up in a lot of courses you would not necessarily get in the city and you will find yourself helping CID/Public protection unit etc which will give you a bit of variety. 

If you're wanting more action packed city cop kind of things, South Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Police divisions are not a million miles away but will require commuting. Ayrshire may appear to have a low head count but don't be fooled - it had the busiest sub division in the old Strathclyde Police. 

In terms of being English up here, there's heaps of English Cops where I am and you may get the odd occasional comment, it's not an issue. 

 

 

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Better than jeebs

You will find the legal system here is more fit for purpose (on the whole, there are obviously flaws and some things that are better with PACE) and more victim based and common sense. 

 

I've never experienced one genuine jibe about me being English, other than the friendly office banter because I am a Geordie. 

 

If I were you work wise, I'd move, but obviously can't say anything for your personal life side as only you would know.

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LB1011

I'm in the same boat, I've got 7 years in the Met (10 in total) also a specialist.

I've put my transfer papers in to come home.


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JD180

Rather than start a new thread in regards to this thought I would just bump one that is of the same ilk. Roughly 12 months time I will be finishing my probation with my current force. Family relations are pulling me further north than where I currently am. What's the current situation in Scotland in regards to transfers. I believe they are currently recruiting... wondering if this is likely to continue for the next 12-13 months?

And if anyone has a spare 5 minutes.. Whats the "usual" day for a rural officer in the north of Scotland?

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Mazza
Rather than start a new thread in regards to this thought I would just bump one that is of the same ilk. Roughly 12 months time I will be finishing my probation with my current force. Family relations are pulling me further north than where I currently am. What's the current situation in Scotland in regards to transfers. I believe they are currently recruiting... wondering if this is likely to continue for the next 12-13 months?

And if anyone has a spare 5 minutes.. Whats the "usual" day for a rural officer in the north of Scotland?


Not sure what they do for transfers, they are planning on slowing recruitment significantly next year so hopefully there will still be a space for you.

How north do you mean? No such thing as a usual day

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JD180
20 hours ago, Mazza said:

 


Not sure what they do for transfers, they are planning on slowing recruitment significantly next year so hopefully there will still be a space for you.

How north do you mean? No such thing as a usual day emoji6.png

 

Well my preference would be Highlands, however I'm sure that's an area thats over subscribed. Ha.. Never a usual day, but I suppose more to the point.. Is it only med/high risk domestics all day everyday.. :D

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