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Squipper91

Being trafpol

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Hi all,

ive decided im going to apply to join police scotland when the contract at my current job is up.

One of the areas id be interested in learning more about is traffic policing and what the training process is currently like.

Ive been an avid motorcycle rider for 4 years now and quiet like the thought of being in a job with the potential to be riding bikes too. So id be very interested i could expect to be doing if wanted to go that way.

Motorbikes aside id still be interested to hear from anyone employed in traffic that could give me a good insight inti the job and any advice.

Thanks in advance'

Squipper

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You can be assured that you will not just walk into a Traffic Officers duties for many years. First you would have to prove yourself an complete the foundations of Policing. From experience I would say that officers generally have about 10 years service before they would even be considered for Traffic Policing.

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I know people who have moved to traffic after 4 years, if they pass the board they get the job. As said, you will have to do your time on response / neighbourhoods first and it would do no harm to show an interst in firearms training, and of course do plenty of 'traffic' based work to demonstrate it's your bag so to speak.

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In Scotland, about 4 years is the norm before any form of specialism is considered.  I had 11 years before I went to Traffic and I'm glad I did as I think you need to gain a lot of life experience before going to something like traffic, so you can think with a level head and avoid red mist.  I did 15 years in traffic and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was only when someone came in to mess about with the structure that I decided it was time to move on.  Now in my final few months of service and looking back, traffic was the thing that always floated my boat.  Should you go down that route now however, I don't think you would feel the rewards that I have, as it has now changed beyond all recognition.  That being said, like joining the Police now, you accept the conditions that exist when you join, so I'm sure those choosing Traffic now will, like I did, think it's marvellous.

 

Traffic motorcyclists generally have to work in cars first before they are ever considered for bikes, although I know of one who went straight to bikes after passing his driving course.  That's one out of hundreds, so I would think it highly unlikely for that to happen.

 

You will have to pass a general purpose response driving course before being considered for Traffic, then will have to pass an advanced driving course once transferred.  We used to run intermediate courses which mimicked the advanced courses, but I believe they have stopped them now (I'll stand by to be corrected on that point).  If you pass your advanced course, you may then be eligible to become and advanced driving instructor, or security escort driver, if that floats your boat.  I was SED trained and found that to be very interesting, although it's not for everyone.  SED gets you involved in VIP / Royal escort duties.

 

Good luck if you choose to go down that route, but I hope you can be patient, as it won't happen quick.

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I'm sure we've answered very similar to this in the past, just haven't got the time to trawl through a few thousands posts.  Sorry.

 

Basically, don't get your hopes up - it can be quite hard to get into.

 

As soon as you're taught to drive to The System, stick with it - all the time - it'll make any driving assessment easier and your advanced course a bit easier too.

 

All you can do is crack on with the job and, without crawling up anybody's arse, ask questions at any crashes you go to - in my experience, anybody asking questions of us at a scene is taken through as much as we can - if the forensic investigators are there, I make a habit of introducing interested response officers to them; they're usually more than happy to take officers through everything they're doing, the crash scene, important marks and details about the physics of a crash - if you're into that sort of thing it's massively interesting what they can tell (and not tell) about how a crash occurred.

 

Know you're traffic law - that's easier said than done when you first start out as you'll have your hands full just doing the normal response bread and butter offences, rather than anything special in traffic.  It will come, so don't rush it, as has been said, you've got to get a really good grounding in being a copper before specialising, but there's nothing wrong with having an aspiration. :)

 

If you find yourself with spare time, you can read the Road Death Manual.....

 

 

I've known officers jump into issuing loads of traffic process.  In my experience it doesn't make them any more, or less, likely to become traffic officers.  It shows an interest that your skipper will pick up, so as long as it doesn't get in the way of you doing your actual job, then it's not a bad thing to do - I'd just say it was unnecessary, especially so early on when you're trying to get everything else squared away in your head.

 

 

Good luck. :)

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Thanks for everything so far all.

Can totally understand that specialising wont happen quickly and that id need to spend a considerable ammount of time learning the basics.

Whisper mentioned that it wouldnt do me any harm to have an interest firearms. Are firearms and traffic police fairly closely related? ( providing cover for both i think is what im getting at) as firearms or dog handler are the other areas im interested in finding out more about.

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Firearms officers have to have an advanced driver in charge of the vehicle. Sometimes the driver is an Authorised Firearms Officer as well as an advanced driver. An AFO does not have to be an advanced driver. Perhaps the best AFO I knew could not even drive. Behind the wheel he was useless and failed a General car course twice.

If you do join, take your time. You may find that you are attracted and suitable for another role within the Police.

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Firearms officers have to have an advanced driver in charge of the vehicle. Sometimes the driver is an Authorised Firearms Officer as well as an advanced driver. An AFO does not have to be an advanced driver. Perhaps the best AFO I knew could not even drive. Behind the wheel he was useless and failed a General car course twice.

If you do join, take your time. You may find that you are attracted and suitable for another role within the Police.

And that is the best advice so far. I joined thinking that I wanted to do one thing, but totally changed and became a detective. 30 years later I've had a wonderful career.

Join to be a police officer. Once you've done that then think about what you want to do.

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Beleive me im completely open minded and would never write off anything without atleast seeing what its about.

End of the day the reason i want to join is because i cant stand the thought of having to work the 9 to 5 day in day out doing the exact same task over and over :-)

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I agree that you need to join with an open mind. I came into this job 25 years ago with lots of preconceptions and most of them were quickly cast aside.

I also agree that specialisms are increasingly difficult to get into. I did 14 years on traffic, and was 10 years in before they would look at me. It was worth the wait, and I enjoyed my time there, but many traffic departments are no longer what they were. Ours is now a glorified response team which is part of a collaboration.

What you may also find are fewer motorcyclists. Certainly ours have long since been viewed as a luxury, and the fleet massively reduced. We no longer routinely deploy bikes, which are used largely now for operations such as Royal visits and major events.

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Open mind is the way forward, far too many job roles you have no idea about yet! And police motorcyclist has to be the most dangerous job in the police, become a surveillance motorcyclist and the chances of death or life changing injuries go through the roof! Stick to track days?! 

 

I'm good at giving advice pretty rubbish at following it...

 

You can specialise, get promoted etc after 2 years, 4 years is more normal but 2-3 isn't unheard of, but I can only speak for a southern force. 

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Absolutely. And being slightly flippant and controversial, you could join Traffic and spend the rest of your days giving out tickets for driving in a bus lane, or actually do something worthwhile that helps the public!

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As you can see Squipper, detectives fishing for traffic officers is another occupation, although traffic officers fishing for detectives normally ends in more points....................

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