Thursday, July 23, 2009

I feel the need

Have managed to get myself in a couple of footchases recently, joys of being let out of custody. Had a right funny one the other night.

Unfortunately can't go into too much detail but it ended up with one chap thoroughly detained, me needing new trousers, and some kind soul catching up with me to give me my sunglasses back.

I did feel like throwing up for at least half an hour afterwards though. Full on sprints half an hour after finishing tea/lunch/snack (whatever you'd call a meal break at 2am) aren't really ideal. Still, it made me happy that I caught and flattened someone younger and if I'm honest leaner than me and who also wasn't carrying all the kit I lug around!

Was a crazy shift. Started off quite dull with a routine traffic stop that developed into an arrest and some decent intel about an up and coming scrote type. It's rare that I'd bring someone in from a traffic stop but I'm glad I did on this one. Fortunately I had spotted him using his phone whilst going along so had a substantive offence to actually bring him in with.

Later on things got really busy with quite a few proper urgent assistance shouts. I was so exhuasted by the end of the night what with the footchase, but mostly because of the level of concentration needed to drive miles at full tilt.

On blue light runs I rarely give it everything I've got. I'm past the "just passed my driving course and can legally exceed speed limit" enthusiasm (if enthusiasm is the right word) and now generally am a lot more sanguine when it comes to blue light runs. Don't ge me wrong, I don't pootle and get fed up to the back teeth of having to deal with the incessant paperwork to bin various speed camera 'offences', but I don't give it 100% and don't take the car to it's limit. I don't bully people out of the way and always try to keep enough in reserve so there's time to deal with something completely unexpected. The way some people react to blue lights in the mirror is completely unpredictable. All you need to do is move over to one side, preferably the left! However, there is often also a reaction of hitting the anchors and being rooted to whichever spot you've ended up in, even if that is the outside lane.

Proper urgent assistances are the exception to the rule where shaving off half a second here and there make the difference between another punch or kick to a colleague. I'll remember one particular run down one of the main trunk roads for a while, thundering down the carriageway, strobes bouncing off the street signs, flashing my lights at cars miles in the distance hoping they'll get the hint and get out of the way before I'm up their backside palm on the horn.

I was back in Custody the following shift after the one above and for once was grateful. Well, at least I was until I sat down in the chair upon which point Police and Criminal Evidence Act Hell broke free.....

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Public Service Announcement

I don't normally think of this blog as much more than an avenue for.... well, whinging about the state of the job, incompetence of politicians and inaccuracy of the media.

But for once I think I just have to use it to ask people for goodness sake wear your seatbelt.

Turned up to an RTA. 6 people injured. Four of them are walking wounded. Sure, they're not exactly bouncing with joy and they'll have a glorious time with compensation lawyers I'm sure. But they didn't need to spend more than a little while in the back of the ambulance.

Two others not quite the same story. One was kept alive simply by virtue of having a PC holding his laceration together to prevent the torn artery emptying its contents all over the tarmac. The other had another ruptured artery. Buried somewhere inside his body.

His last words on earth were to a PC kneeling beside him, who was trying to tell him everything'd be okay.

Utterly, totally preventable. If they'd been wearing their belts, they'd be alive. The accident wasn't even their fault, blame completely lying with the other driver whose little showoff session to his mates went a bit wrong. I wonder if he came down a route where CCTV cameras may have picked him up so we have a realistic chance of getting a death by dangerous driving charge authorised.

This wasn't a high speed accident I might add.

I must admit I had gotten a bit slack with traffic enforcement recently, as I think the team had. But trust me, for the next while, there'll be no discretion going on around Suburbiaville if you or god forbid any child of yours is in the car with no seatbelt on.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sour Grapes

Had an interview the other day for an in-house transfer to a particular role I'm interested in.

The old adage of failure to prepare is preparing to fail loomed large so of course had lots of stuff prepared. I figured it would be logical to be asked questions about my paper application so did a considerable amount to be sure I was ready to expand give a whole load more detail about any particular part they cared for. I researched pages worth of stats and quotes relevant to the role, and had answers prepared for the expected questions about what qualities I felt I had for the role, where would I be in 1,2 or 5 years if successful.

Silly me.

What I should have done is memorise the competency phrases and buzzwords from the Competency Framework. The competency framework is familiar I guess to most police around and probably some corporate types. The competency framework is a list of qualities somebody in an office has decided a particular officer must have to be competent in his role.

My interviewers simply had a tick sheet of these phrases, and if I said one, I got a mark. I quickly twigged this but unfortunately these phrases are often somewhat..... well, random and so I didn't get many.

Anything come up I had prepared for? Did it heck.

Now I can understand there is a need to be objective in your interview assessments. But I don't think solely basing the success of the interview on the number of phrases hit necessarily means the best candidate gets through. It just means the ones who remembered the most score highest. I didn't even get the most simple question of all - "Why do you want to join this unit"??

Still, lesson learnt. Next time I'll simply print off the list they're marking from, and read it and read it until I can quote it back to myself. And then turn up at the interview safe in the knowledge I won't actually need to demonstrate any interest or aptitude in the role I'm going for.