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Everything posted by skydiver

  1. Realistic at my age?

    Opps just realised I called you Bob rather than Rob... Most people start on response partly because if you can hack that you can handle most other police roles in terms of the grief you get and the long hours. Response respond to grade 1 and 2 calls i.e. emergency and priority calls so fights, burglaries, shop theft, that sort of thing. It also involves dealing with missing people from your average truculent teenager in care to the 80 year old with dementia and although the former does get tedious you sometimes can come across child sexual exploitation and other serious crime as part of doing the initial response or debriefing them when they return. It also involves all manner of very tedious jobs such as constant watches in custody or bed watches in hospital, as well as scene preservation, or house to house. You also get pulled from pillar to post with control wanting you to finish every job before you're ready in order to go to the next one, as well as other departments wanting you to do their boring jobs for them. Depending on your force you may have a crime q to manage i.e. some more of the straight forward investigations that come your way, or you may work for a force where respond just respond, arrest and take statements before handing over. You may also do some shifts in the night time economy so prepared to get bored telling people that pregnant women can't piss in your helmet and having your picture taken with 1001 drunken revellers, as well as breaking up fights, refereeing arguments and arguing with people who think they know the law but quite obviously don't. Oh and driving fast after a 3 week standard driving course which is a massive amount of fun. Depending where you are based you may be a very long way from back up so you'll have to rely on your silver tongue, whit and sparkling repartee in order to avoid getting assaulted, or you may have 20 PCs just minutes away at the touch of an emergency button, both of which will sometimes influence the way you deal with people. Response used to be able to proactive work but those days have pretty much gone with all the cuts we've suffered, however you still may be able to deal with the odd drink driver. You sound realistic about the hours which is good and you are right in saying that you will have a lot more responsibility, but there is also a lot of scrutiny of what you are doing.
  2. Realistic at my age?

    Hi Bob. I joined 8 years ago as a 40 year old after working in a few other jobs since uni and to be honest I have loved every minute. Its hard work, it can be rewarding, its thankless, its boring and exciting, its funny, its disgusting, you see the best and worst of people, its perverse in that the pay is not nearly enough for the responsibility you have or for the effects you can have on peoples lives, the government generally don't support us and you'll miss a lot of your family. I took a big pay cut to join and now after 8 years I'm earning what I was prior to joining although when you take inflation into account my wages still haven't caught up. You'll also be working rolling shifts and doing a lot of lates and nights so you'll really have to be in the position of wanting to do the job if you take it on. I've spent most of my time on response, but I've had a a period regging as a temporary sergeant and I'm now a DC, so you can move around quite a bit and get experience in different areas and roles. IIRC you get your first increment after 12 months, although that may have changed due to government 'reforms, then every 12 m after that with top wack being achieved after 7 years. Also are you sure that your force starts on £22k because not all do. Good luck.
  3. If you have got such serious reservations now I'd say the job isn't for you and sometimes you have to act on a gut instinct so maybe that is the case now. There's no point going into a job where you can get into serious trouble or have a massive influence on someone's life whilst having second thoughts. I would also have thought that you could get a graduate job in another industry and get paid a lot more than with the police whilst having a lot less tress. I'd also say that although experience of an assessment day can stand you in good stead for other assessments, the police one is very different from just about every other assessment centre I've ever seen, so you may not be able to take too many lessons from it apart from teh ability to deal with the pressure of the day. Good luck whatever you decide.
  4. First Post Mortem

    That is a rare opportunity so I hope you are able to make the most of it.
  5. I would find the headlong rush to praise the police and to demand more resources amusing if it wasn't for the tragic circumstances which brought about the calls. Even the DM questioned the cuts in one article although normal service was quickly resumed with articles criticising the police for taking too long to ID the victims and because we hadn't kept track on the suspects. I never heard Labour jumping to our defence prior to the election but May's comments reminding voters that Labour called for 10% cuts to the police in 2015 when the Tories were discussing 20-40% cuts to our budget were extremely hypercritical and self serving. We were only saved from 20% plus cuts because of the Paris attacks which would have been on top of 20% cuts already imposed by the Tories.
  6. I tutored a former PCSO who had to take quite a substantial pay cut to become a PC although in the long run it was financially beneficial for him to make the move.
  7. Zulu are you sure that Labour cut the police budget? I thought that we had the highest budget and numbers of PCs whilst we had a Labour government with the ConDems cutting our budget in order to help tackle the banking crisis. I haven't however forgotten that Jacqui Smith tried to defer or spread out a police pay rise. Back OT. Come 0300 on a Tuesday morning my force has approximately 18 PCs, 3 or 4 sergeants and one Inspector to cover 1m people and 800,000 square miles. The local motorway is covered by AFOs rather than dedicated traffic officers at that time of the morning and there is only one dog available, although that can also be called to a neighbouring county. I'd often parade zero officers for my area on a night shift by the time a scene pres, constant or a bed watch or two had been covered.
  8. Walk The Beat

    Yes some still do.
  9. What changes in behaviour have people seen since the new bail act came into place? In April my force bailed 3 people with everyone else being released under investigation so bail use has plummeted. One unintended side effect was highlighted by a solicitor who was asking me about property I had seized from his client who had been RUI with the solicitor predicting taht it would probably take me longer to get it triaged now without a bail date being in place than under the previous system as I wouldn't have a firm deadline to work to. The new system for granting bail is also taking a long time to bed in with some Inspectors and custody sergeants being at odds about the rules particularly over the proportionality of certain measure.
  10. Assessment interview

    If its anything like the police assessment they'll be looking for the core competencies and awareness of diversity related topics. Also be prepared for someone to be angry straight away when you enter the scenario i..e no gentle build up.
  11. Pay scale and shift allowance

    I used to get around £80 pm unsocial hours pay when it as first introduced, but I was on a 2 2 2 pattern in a county force. I'm pretty sure pay scale moves are on the anniversary of your starting date.
  12. Recruitment timescales vary from force to force and the economic situation or backlog of current recruits. My recruitment took 12 months from attending an open evening to being attested but I was on a cohort with people where the same process had taken over 2 years. I had to attend a recruitment night, pass a simple test on the night in order to get an application form, spend ages on the form as it was nothing like any other job application I had ever seen. Once that was accepted I had to attend and pass a 1/2 day assessment centre, undertake vetting, have a medical and eyesight test, pass a final interview and pass the initial fitness test. Once in I was enrolled in a 2 year degree course of which 6 months was spent in the local uni and at force headquarters, working in the community, learning police skills, passing tests, writing loads of essays and taking part in lots of legal and academic presentations. After the 6 months was up I did 10 weeks in company with a tutor doing hands on police work. That was the most enjoyable part of the course because I was finally able to do what I wanted to do and what I was being paid to do i.e. be a PC. Once the in company period was passed ( no one failed in my cohort but two people dropped out at this stage) I had the balance of the two years to finish my SOLAP folder and to write 4 more essays for the degree side of the training. My SOLAP took about 8 months to finish. After 2 years I was confirmed in the rank of PC. My force has a PDU (police development unit) made up of PCs who assist with the SOLAP folder and try to do the odd shift with probationers. Other than that PCs learn from their shift. I started working in my nick after 6 months and no I didn't get a choice of where to work. People from my cohort ended up all over the city and county which didn't always take into account of where they lived so some had long journeys to work. I've effectively stayed covering the same area that I started in, albeit I've moved stations and job roles. Daily routine varies depending on the nick, job, experience level and time of day and day of the week. I started on response and did a 2 2 2 pattern i.e. 2 earlies 7-am 4 or 5 pm, 2 lates 3pm - 11pm, 2 nights 10 pm - 7 am followed by 4 days off, but there were also sub patterns to that. The newbie always makes drinks for the shift and newbies always get jobs which are character building or good for developing experience, which also happen to be the jobs no one else wants....Response officers look after grade 1 and 2 job (immediate response and response within 1 hour), missing people, some ASB, burglaries, some traffic, concern for welfare, night time economy foot patrols, some proactive work, statement taking, out of force enquiries, arrest requests, handover prisoners, constants in custody and bed watches in hospital. Basically no two days are the same and you never know what to expect when you go into work. Quite a bit of that work has changed over the years as things like handovers always go to dedicated investigation units and no one on response gets much chance to do anything proactive or traffic related any more as they just don't have enough staff and are rushed off their feet attending grade 1 and 2 jobs. The city LPU commander (local police unit) was a superintendent worked in my nick but it was rare to see him. The station Inspector was however a regular sight, but 99% of daily supervisory was down to the two shifts sergeants and initially my tutor constable. Response Inspectors would get involved in big jobs (high risk missing people, nasty assaults etc). Loads of civis also worked in that nick but on different floors so I'd barely see them. There are marked vans and cars in each area. You have to have a basic driving authority just to drive a marked car but you must have a standard authority to use blues and twos. That is achieved after a 3 week intensive driving course. Time is spent split between single crewed and being double crewed. Double crewing is more common at night but with staff cuts, single crewing is more and more prevalent nowadays. Call signs go with the vehicle. Local council CCTV is accessed by police on the radio, a phone call or a personal visit. Discipline can be a can of worms which I won't go into detail about other than to say that some issues can be dealt with by informal words of advice whilst others have to be dealt with more formally by the sergeant or inspector, whilst a few have to go through PSD or even the IPCC. There is a lot more than can be said in response to all of your questions so my answers are only a brief summary and are applicable to my experience on one shift in one nick and in one role. One last thing though, my first day in company was a combination of pride and absolute terror and nervousness.
  13. Specials being sent to ambulance calls

    There are so many things wrong with policies which encourage police to take on work from other organisations whether it is PCSOs taking on the role of retained firefighters in Devon, joint police and fire patrols in Northants and specials being trained as first responders in Hants. We should be trying to shift work back to the appropriate organisations rather than taking on more work from them. We already respond to mental health problems and mispers from hospitals and children's homes, concern for welfare for social services and now fires and as a dedicated first response. Some one needs to stand their ground and say no when people come knocking on our doors asking us to do their work for them. We have enough to do for our own work with an increasing population and growing crime q's without doing the work of other organisations. You never hear about ambulance crews responding to a shop lifter so why should be provide a specific first response to a health problem. I'm not saying that we shouldn't provide first aid when we come across injured people but we shouldn't be going out of our way to provide a dedicated albeit relatively untrained response to a health problem.
  14. When I read the first couple of lines of your question my thoughts were firmly that the police wouldn't be a suitable job for you but by the time I read the entire post I changed my mind, although I can't vouch for the force that you want to join. It sounds that you have put a lot of thought into your application and have an acute awareness of your previous health concerns as well as what the police might entail so hopefully you'll be OK. I'd be as honest an upfront in your medical assessment as possible bearing in mind that the force will have asked for your medical records as part of the recruitment process. You can also use what some people may look as a negative into a positive by showing how you coped and how the experience has helped your understanding of other people's mental health conditions.
  15. This is a half decent article about the increase in knife crime which points out there are differences between the pattern in London as opposed to the rest of the country.
  16. The General Effectiveness Of The Police

    That's an interesting summary but I think that Songman Kang maybe looking at the problem in a completely theoretical way as opposed to taking into account real government policies and the capacity for knew jerk reactions to incidents. Take his last point as an example. We could arrest and charge a lot more people but that wouldn't necessarily lead to a larger prison population as the government policy of the day may dictate out of court or none custodial sentences. Remember Ken Clarke when he was justice minister advocated just that sort of thing whereas his successors have emphasised incarceration.
  17. Tattoos

    It shouldn't have any effect on your application. I know a fair few officers in my force who have full sleeves so a couple of smaller and none offensive tats should be accepted without a problem.
  18. Its a sad indictment of society that NHS staff and paramedics can't be expected to get through their shifts without being assaulted.
  19. You are welcome. Try UK Cop Humour over on Facebook for a patch.
  20. They are optional and can be bought online and stuck on using velcro. Be warned though some police forces don't like them.
  21. Progression

    I'm in a similar position and will have 8 years service in Nov so I went to PP6 i.e.£35127 this April.
  22. I saw the story via Bullshire and UK Cop Humour and saw that every comment on the Sun website was supportive of the police so I think that the intention to write an anti police story has backfired.
  23. What took them so long? Forces which use a mental health triage car seem to see a reduction in demand on their response officers and offer a more professional response to people with mental health problems. Demand for the service does however outstrip supply but at least when the car is available it does reduce demand. I assume from the article that it was probably NHS funding which the force was waiting for in order to employ the appropriate mental health nurse along side the police. If that is the case then it shows one of the problems with some partnership working i.e. waiting for other agencies to provide money or staff, but in the meantime we still have the burden of providing a response. Ideally this sort of service should be run entirely by the NHS and ambulance service as many mental health problems we respond to are not crime related.
  24. Missing person mandatory information

    TBH the police probably would not look for anyone over 18 assuming there were no issues (mental health, self harm, suicide, honour based violence, suspicious circumstances etc) or at most would class them as low risk would would mean that we'd only carry out cursory checks.
  25. Cons: Having to arrest on new evidence Having to take up more time out of our limited time to make further arrests Having to find hard to find suspects a second time Losing the ability in some cases to impose relevant bail conditions Suspect centric rather than victim centric Bureaucratic with increasing amounts of time being needed for every additional extension New time limits don't take bottlenecks into account such as forensics or drugs tests let alone more complicated investigations such as indecent images or large scale fraud. Suspects not knowing if and when we are going to come back to make a further arrest Pros: Easy headline for the government so say that they are reforming the police Sledge hammer to crack a nut to reform the minority of times when bail has effectively been open ended.