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Free tube travel! Hmmm......

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#1 scpilchard


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Posted 29 April 2007 - 08:02 PM

I was fed up with paying for the tube. £4 for a single it's a joke. I heard about an organisation called the Metropolitan Police, apparently they sit in cars all day eating Chinese food. Well anyway you can volunteer with them and you get free travel, you have to do some other stuff but I'd stopped listening after they mentioned free travel :whistle:

I applied to the MSC in August last year, I had my day 1 on the 30th November and my day 2 was the 10th January. I received a call to start the training on the 11th of march. Reading this site I was surprised that it all happened quite quickly.

So I now find myself 7 weeks into the training and I'm loving it. My class is a really mixed bunch of people who are all really enthusiastic about the role.

I'm going to be working in Islington, I was raised there so I know the area quite well.

I'll try and write an entry here every week.

Off to bull my magnums now........ :lol:

#2 scpilchard


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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:07 AM

Why do I want to become a Special Constable?

I've been working for the last 5 years with homeless people.
I've found the work challenging and definitely rewarding but

recently I’ve wanted to do more to help people. Working

with the Police seemed like a great opportunity to take the

skills I’ve learnt working with challenging client groups and

transfer them.

It’s also a way of giving back to my community, when I was

younger I was mugged a few times, so I know how demoralising

it feels to be a victim of crime. So instead of sitting around moaning

about crime I can get stuck in and try to make a difference.

I’m also aware that there’s more to policing than catching bad ‘uns.

It’s the quiet unsung work that never gets mentioned in the press, like

providing first aid to MOP’s finding lost kiddies and simple stuff like directions.

I wonder if I’ll feel the same way when they let me out on the street :whistle:

#3 scpilchard


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Posted 06 May 2007 - 04:31 PM

Very short day today.

We learnt the various types of assault and appropriate actions peppered throughout with some corking stories from our trainer.

At the morning break I was salivating at the thought of a bacon roll but when we got to the canteen there was no fried food in sight :whistle: , I almost had a heart attack! Apparently the 'chef' wasn't in.

We went on to Domestic Violence after the break. Just skipped through it really and learnt the important points about positive action.

My bike has given up the ghost and is well and truly knackered, so I took full opportunity of the early finish to make my way to the bike shop to try out a new bike, I was very impressed with it, it was a Specialized Sirrus Comp with lovely carbon forks. Extremely nice ride and very fast. I just need to find £600 now :lol: !

Lots of Police around for the Arsenal Chelsea match, I spotted about 15 carriers not counting all the BTP around Highbury and Islington tube. I wonder if I'll get to do any football duty.

#4 scpilchard


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Posted 13 May 2007 - 07:19 PM

Really tired this morning and kept pressing snooze.

I've had a rubbish week so the thought of getting up on a Sunday morning to
sit on a Tube train really didn't excite me. I flicked through the white notes
trying fruitlessly to understand what a driver has to do at an accident and
what I can do 'em for if they fail to produce documents, all very thrilling :lol:
(though obviously important!)

I'm suffering from mid course fatigue mixed with splitting from my
partner of three years on Monday :D .

Being alone at work didn't help either we're really short staffed so I was trapped in
the office felling gloomy.

Once I got to Hendon I felt a bit better though still feeling sleepy. Though the traffic
stuff was dull I still enjoyed todays lessons, we watched a good video about how not
to do things and looking like an idiot in court. A barrister on the programme was very
funny "It's nothing personal but I'll do you in", I forget that being a special will mean
that I'm required to go to court every now and then.

It's all becoming more real now and my way of thinking seems to be changing, I'm more
aware of what's going around me and I feel like I'm more ready to get involved (safely of
course!) if someone needed help. We get our uniforms next Sunday so I'm really looking
forward to that. I think I'll wear it to work :D :whistle:

#5 scpilchard


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Posted 20 May 2007 - 10:43 PM

Tried to get up at six today, I managed to crawl out of bed (I say bed, I mean broken futon on the kitchen floor) half an hour later.

Shaving with one eye closed from tiredness is always fun and makes for a hair raising start to the day.

I was up early today for uniform fitting, all very exciting.

We were shown into a dingy building and stuck in a dingier waiting room.

The first thing we were given was a bag containing handcuffs, baton and a variety of pouches.

Then it got even more exciting, it was like being a kid again and getting a spiderman costume, except made from itchier material! I was impressed by the process it all went quite smoothly, bit worried that my trousers are too big.

I was measured up for a metvest, no problems not sure when I'll see the vest though. I really like the kit it all seems to be good quality and hopefully will last.

My favourite piece of kit?

Silver :whistle: and chain of course (I like a bit of tradition me).

Obligatory hour in front of the mirror was achieved sucessfully once at home.

I put the utility belt together but as I haven't got a clue where anything goes I think I put it all the wrong way round.

We have our final exam next week :lol: and after that it's els and ost, hopefully then I'll be told what goes where on the belt!

If I manage to pass the exam I'll be writing something here next week, cheerio.

#6 scpilchard


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Posted 28 May 2007 - 11:13 AM

Well not so much fun this Sunday, I managed to fail the exam by one question, d'oh!

I had an inkling that I'd failed, I hadn't done any revision and I've been worried about not
finding somewhere to live. Not a good combination for exam success.

I'm trying not to beat myself up, so this week it's time to knuckle down get out my notes,
find somewhere to live, cure cancer and rule the world :whistle:

I'm bricking it that I might fail my retake and have to start the whole course all over again!
As long as I do some revision that's not going to happen plus I refuse to lug all that kit back
to Hendon.

So what else happened on Sunday?

We got photographed for our warrant cards. Very funny to see everyone half dressed as
Police Officers waiting like schoolchildren for their portrait to be done.

I also got my metvest (it was only ordered last week!) and some other bits and pieces that
weren't in stock when we did the uniform fitting.

Finally we had fire training that was fun. We got to go out and use CO2 fire extinguishers on blazing petrol!
It was just like being in an action film, or a cheap health and safety video.

It was quite impressive when the instructors set the big tray alight I felt my face singeing from 10' away!

After the 'barbecue' most of us went out for a drink or several. I got to drown my sorrows and everyone else got to drink to exam success :) . A big well done to everyone :lol:

Deferred success is the new success!

#7 scpilchard


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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:53 PM

Well I'm feeling angry and sad after today.

I re-took the exam today and managed to fail it again by one question!

Why did I fail this time?

-I was confident I knew my stuff and that I'd pass today, I'd revised and felt ready.

-When it came to the exam I was arrogant and rushed my way through it without reading the questions properly.

-I got one question wrong about offensive weapons beacause I misread a measurement,
I'd have passed if I got that right :lol: .

A mixture of arrogance and not taking things seriously has put me in jeopardy of not becoming a special and I'm really angry with myself.

I love going to Hendon every Sunday and at the moment this training is the best thing in my life. I gladly wake up at the crack of dawn and jump on the tube to do something I'm not being paid for, I wish I could show the same enthusiasm about my day job!

We were doing ELS today and I did the retake at lunch time and was given the result at the end of lunch. I was really shocked, funnily enough we had to do a presentation on the causes of shock after lunch! I could have been a case study.

Well I got on with it and learnt how to apply bandages and the new style cpr (30:2). I've already done first aid at work so some of the the stuff was familiar, but this being the met there's a specific way to do everything each with its own mnemonic :whistle: .
Putting people in the recovery position and applying the bandages was fun, lots of bad acting (coming from me).

We get assessed next next Sunday on this, knowing my luck........

I spoke to the tutor at the end of the day to find out what my options are after failing the exam, he wasn't too sure but I should be getting a call in the week clarifying what I can do next. Hopefully I get to have another shot at the exam, I'm sure the other option will be starting the whole course again, really not keen on doing that.

My life is going through a bad patch at the moment, but I'm sure something will come up :D .

Cheerio Folks.

(reason for edit: cpr changed to 30:2! d'oh, there I go again misinterpreting information.)

Edited by scpilchard, 03 June 2007 - 09:01 PM.

#8 scpilchard


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Posted 09 June 2007 - 08:36 PM

I've had a long day today moving my stuff out of the flat, too hot for all that lugging about.
So my relationship is now over and I'm a single man again (offers welcome :whistle: ). Seriously though
it takes its bloody toll, I can't seem to concentrate while I'm on the old emotional rollercoaster.

I'm still waiting to hear my fate after failing the Phase 2 exam twice :D . I've been told to come this
Sunday for our ELS assessment and hopefully I'll find out what's to become of me after that.

I'm nervous as hell about this assessment, but as long as I take my time (someone should really
tattoo 'take your time' on the inside of my eyelids) I'll pass.

It's all starting to sink in, I had a meeting on my borough this week and found out a little bit more
about the team and what specials can get involved in on our borough, quite a lot as it goes.

I spoke to a special who'd just started and he was having lots of fun and getting stuck in.

I also found out how to claim the all important expenses :D :lol:

It all made me feel quite nervous that I'm getting close to becoming a Police Officer and will be
let out on the streets in, fingers crossed, just over a months time.

I got a little taste of a police officers interactions with the public on Friday when an alcoholic
told me to 'fornicate off' outside work. I told him that's not a very nice thing to say, whilst remaining
professional and supressing the urge to hit him. I'm off this coming week and I really need it.


#9 scpilchard


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Posted 10 June 2007 - 03:51 PM

Woo hoo I've been given a stay of execution.
I'm still on the course and on course to becoming a special.

A great day today the ELS assessment went really well, so if you're ever unwell near me have no fear!

OST next week so don't be late!

I'm off to see George Michael tonight at Wembley, not his biggest fan but got free tickets so should be a laugh.

I better go now.

#10 scpilchard


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Posted 17 June 2007 - 04:30 PM

In case you were wondering George Michael was great last Sunday and the new Wembley is fantastic (especially compared to the old dive!).......

.....Oh yeah back to Hendon.

Today was my first day of OST and it was really fun.

We learnt lots of self defence techniques and got to practise them on each other ( lots of pressure points whacked and dead legs given out :lol: ) and the pads. We also went through our powers to use force and the common law around self defence.

I was surprised that I managed to do well at the practical stuff today my lack of co-ordination usually lets me down, but today I seemed to cope.

The core message of today is gradually sinking in. That when we're out in the street on duty we're going to be meeting some not very nice people who are quick to violence. OST gives us some basic tools to minimise or avert risk but there may come a time when my numbers up, pretty scary :whistle: .

Tactical communication seems the best way to go for me and utilise my hard won people skills from my day job.

Luckily though in my borough I'm sure extra units won't be far away and it'll be a long time before I get to do independent patrol.

I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight today was pretty full on, lots to remember for next week!

Another thrilling installment next week!

#11 scpilchard


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Posted 20 June 2007 - 08:46 PM

My Dad almost got robbed tonight!

He was walking from the station carrying shopping listening to his mp3 player at about 2000hrs.

He saw two gentlemen of North African appearance walking ahead of him one of them them stopped and was 'adjusting' his shoe. So my dad walked past them and one got quite close.

My Dad carried on and jogger came past and nodded to my Dad and gestured behind him.

As my Dad turned round he saw that both the men were close behind him and one was holding something triangular and white, could have been a knife(!) wrapped up or a ruler. He shouted "WHAT!" and they both disappeared.

Luckily there was a mobile police station/lorry/crimebus? (whatever those things are called!) round the corner. Good job my Dad had already dialled 999 as the police officer in the mobile had a flat battery on their airwave!
He was told by the officer that some officers on pushbikes were out and about with his description of the two fella's.

Hopefully they'll get caught sooner or later, my Dad described them as typical junkies (not pc but I'm not in the mood for that!) and knowing their mo they're probably going to try it again on the same road.

My Dad was so angry when he got home that he dialled 999 again! The operative was very helpful and took lots of info and asked if he would like officers to attend. Luckily he's alright and no harm done so a visit wasn't necessary.

I'm glad nothing happened and my Dad did the right thing, sometimes a shout is enough to protect yourself. I'll remember that.

As I said before I'm sure these guys are idiotic and will get caught soon.

When's my attestation? :whistle: I want to be out on the streets catching these sorts of miscreants!

Edited by scpilchard, 20 June 2007 - 09:03 PM.

#12 scpilchard


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Posted 25 June 2007 - 09:11 PM

I can finally type again! My wrists will never be the same after handcuffing and pain compliance :D .

I tried resisting and ended up face down on the floor.You can definitely exert a lot of control with rigid cuffs.

What an amazing sight, sixty odd people in a hall inflicting pain on each other! We were dropping like flies and the air was turning blue with all the screaming and swearing :whistle:

Next up was baton strikes, more shouting but no pain this time (thank god!).

I felt like a maniac for the day, definitely released some anger :lol: "GET BACK!"

Great fun, we're getting CS'd next week, I can't wait! Bring the pain! There's also a handcuffing assessment, boo!

(Hmm I might be a masochist.................)

#13 scpilchard


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Posted 28 June 2007 - 08:47 PM

All the fun of the fair today or circus or London?

I was coming home from work and came across a massive stand off in the street between rival Algerian Football fans on Blackstock Road at about 2045. With probably every officer in North London attending :whistle: :lol: :D :) :) :) :) :) :) :lol: etc...

One bystander explained that it was equivalent to a cup final between Arsenal and Spurs.

I've attached a picture of some of the action, it all looked very exciting.

Attached File  DSC00354compressed.JPG   27.38KB   75 downloads

Lots of officers in attendance including a dog van from CoLP and an ARV and two fire engines for the fireworks.

A lot of the Algerian lads were baiting the dog and booing at the police. I'd have loved to have been out and getting stuck in.

I hope everything ended peacefully, but I can still hear sirens now.

What an exciting day, I had to break up a fight outside my work and got involved in another incident later and then walked into the middle of a potential riot! :D

#14 scpilchard


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Posted 01 July 2007 - 08:32 PM

I think the memory/nightmares of today will stay with me for a long time.......

CS exposure was the main course today but first we had some very large entree's.

More baton practise and open hands defence practise followed by a handcuff assessment!

I worked up quite a sweat in the morning and was really nervous about the handcuffing assessment.

In the end the assessment wasn't too much to worry about, the techniques must have filtered through very slowly in the week leading up to today :)
Keeping the procedures in mind and using loud verbal commands really helped me to focus and get on with the task in hand (hand geddit!).

After working up a huge appetite we had lunch, I had pasta but still managed to find room for one of Hendons' fine sausages :lol: .

After lunch we learnt the theory on cs before going into the gym to practise with the inert canisters. Lots of fun, like being a kid with a water pistol.

No one was having any fun 20 minutes later :)

We went onto the playing field ready for our fate. I think I had a sense of the feeling the Tommy's had at Ypres before they went over the top, I'm being serious I was scared of what was to come.

We lined up in rows and the trainer put on his gas mask, Oh my god let me out of here!

We were told to walk towards him as he started spraying.

The last thing I saw was a cloud of spray in the air and I went down like a ton of bricks. I was told to get up and carry on walking so I did and that's when it really started to hurt.

My hearing disappeared and I was completely disorientated, but I knew I couldn't rub my eyes.

Thankfully there was a breeze and that helped to alleviate some of the pain but my skin was still burning! I didn't get snotty though just incredible pain around the eyes.

The only thing I can liken it to is having Cillit Bang sprayed in your face whilst someone crushes Scotch Bonnet peppers into your eyes. Imagine that and you're about halfway there!

All around me my classmates were walking around with their eyes screwed shut, snot streaming :D and crying for their mothers (alright I made the last bit up but you get the point!).

The showers afterward were like some kind of test of machismo, the only temperature setting was kettle hot!

One thing I noticed about today was how supportive we were of each other, making sure everyone was ok and supporting our classmates as they rode the storm. I think we all felt like battle hardened veterans at the end of today.

A few of us went to the pub afterwards to ease the trauma.

I think the memory of the trainer wearing a gas mask and spraying that stuff will be the stuff of nighmares for many years to come........ :whistle: :D !

#15 scpilchard


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Posted 09 July 2007 - 04:26 PM

Finally I can have my Sundays back. Well at least until my first duties start.

17 Sundays getting up at the crack of Dawn and now it's all over. It seems to have gone really quickly.

Our last day was our final OST lesson.

I thought there would be no more pain after we'd finished handcuffing! How wrong was I, we still had to do restraints and holds and knife defence (sorry bladed articles!).

The instructor demonstrated one hold on me with pain compliance I'm sure I heard my wrist crack. I found it hard to get my head round some of the holds but I think the main points sunk in.

Knife defence was good but scary. If someone suddenly tried to start cutting me up I'd hope I battered them, but what if I hesitate or panic? Best not to think to think about it and hope the autopilot kicks in if the worst ever happens.

I've got massive bruises on my forearms from some of the techniques we learnt.

We all went to the pub afterwards to celebrate and enjoyed a couple of beers.............!

I've thoroughly enjoyed the whole course and met some great people along the way, we've had really good trainers and everyone in our class got really involved and asked loads of questions and were just genuinely interested.

Attestation at NSY on the 17th July, I can't wait.

#16 scpilchard


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Posted 18 July 2007 - 05:40 PM

It's been a little while since my last entry. So here's a catch up.

Last weekend was the first Sunday not going to Hendon since Easter!
I couldn't enjoy it though as I was at work. I didn't really want to go seeing as I was almost assaulted and had had to evict a resident on Saturday. Not a nice job at all.

I got a lift to the tube station from some Tower Hamlets officers as the resident had threatened me and was waiting outside. They told me they didn't envy my line of work and reckoned policing was a lot easier!

Fortunately I had Monday and Tuesday off so could go and see my cousin in Brighton and walk on the beach.

Tuesday was spent polishing my shoes, ironing my shirt and removing the cat hair from my tunic. All those Sundays since the 11th of March and I'd finally made it to the Attestation.

I was really excited and a bit nervous and unsure how formal the ceremony would be. Going into NSY was interesting I had to have my bag x-rayed! Security is very tight at New Scotland Yard.

After going through lots of corridors I made it too the changing room to put on my incredibly hot tunic, I felt like I was in a sauna.

The Attestation was great, I had loads of fun and loads of photo's taken! It was great to see everyone with their friends and families. Also it wasn't too serious we were encouraged to smile, except during the oath of course!

After the ceremony I got to speak to Special from my borough and he's taking me out in the car on Sunday for my first shift. I can't wait.

We all soon made our merry way to the pub for obligatory drinks. I didn't get home til 3am! On a work night as well! Naughty boy.

By my next entry I'll have my first shift under my belt. So expect a lovely review of my shift next Sunday evening.


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