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About CopperSC

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  1. Stepping Down in Grade

    Wanting some honest advice! I'm currently a Special Inspector, been a Special for seven and a half years, S/Insp for three. I've been slowly becoming more disillusioned by the role as I go on. I knew the role would be a challenge when I took it on, but not to this level. I have a team of S/Sgts who are variable in quality, with the result I'm having to do things that they should be doing. I don't feel supported by those higher up the food chain - I've had four Acting SCIs in the last two years, the current SCI is hard to work for and has expectations that are too high. I spend most of my time dealing with those who don't come in, or those who are causing issues (refusing to balance duties, doing too many duties, messing up on duty etc). For those that cause issues I feel unsupported and have on a few occasions been undermined by decisions being made without anyone even talking to me. On the good side I have good relationships with the regular senior management at the police station, get on with the majority of the Specials that are genuinely nice, decent and hardworking and I enjoy putting together operations and events. I'm considering stepping down to SC as I'm not enjoying being a S/Insp anymore. The main reason I don't want to is that I will feel like I've failed in some kind of way, plus I don't want to cause chaos by taking that step. Any opinions would be welcome!
  2. Do many use this forum anymore?

    Splendid, we need some more SCs at Burton! See you next year!
  3. I've badged out on three occasions - in each case I thought about whether I should or not. Don't go diving in without having assessing the situation. Occasion 1) Whilst at the supermarket on the way home (neighbouring force area) - heard raised voices from the next aisle. Couple of teenage lads who had been asked to leave by 2 security guards and the store manager. They had reached a bit of a stalemate, I don't think the security guards wanted to go hands on to remove them but the lads were getting quite verbally aggressive. I discreetly went up to the manager and showed him my badge and asked if they would like some help. He said "yes please". I identified myself to the security guards and lads. Reasoned with them, they calmed down and they agreed to leave, got thanks from the guards. Finished my shopping! Occasion 2) Whilst waiting for a bus at the train station, a couple of boys (no older than about 13) went past in a trolley. Didn't intervene (boys will be boys...), however I heard a woman asking if they should be doing that to the lads and they swore at her. I wasn't having that, so I caught them up and badged out. Both were very sheepish, I gave them a right good telling off. Woman was very happy that I stepped in. Occasion 3) Whilst well away from my force area (London!) - saw a moped rider being knocked off by a car. Stopped my car and assisted with first aid and calling for police. Met turned up within a few minutes and took over from there.
  4. What was your first injury

    Getting dragged across the ground by a chap who wasn't coming along quietly. Kept hold of him whilst my colleague got a better grip of him. Ended up with a large cut on my hand, bashed my left knee badly off the tarmac, scraped open my chin and caused impressive scratches on my radio and baton. I was a right sight when I went on holiday with the other half who was none too happy at the state I was in! Got a whopping £50 from the courts for my troubles. Knee sometime still gives a few minor issues - locks sometimes or gives a twinge of pain. Everything else healed nicely.
  5. Special Constable Interview

    You'll not be supplied with boots or a torch, so if you want you can start looking now. Don't spend too much on the torch, if you must spend more money, spend them in boots - believe me a nice pair of comfy and warm boots are invaluable!
  6. Rank insignia

    Regulars get confused by Specials grade (not rank) structure full stop. I think it's because what a Special Sergeant does has very little to do with what a regular Sergeant does - the same as you go up the food chain. A Special Sergeant will line manage a team of SCs and some have portfolio areas, but that's where the similarities end. They won't be in charge of a serious crime, they won't attend police RTCs as a supervisor, they can't be a custody sergeant, they can't give orders to a PC etc, etc. They won't have completed the exams that a regular sergeant has to go through. I personally think that keeping the "bars" at least avoids confusion in terms of thinking you're a regular or Specials supervisor. As for the public, the only insignia that most will know would be a sergeant's insignia, possibly an inspector's pips. The only members of the public that I have met that have known what the SC is for is either doorstaff or ex-SCs!
  7. Special Constable Interview

    You will get your own stab vest (although it's not issued by Stores as apparently they don't have enough room!). There is a Specials stab vest store in the South (Lichfield) and North (Newcastle I think) of the County - when you go for your station induction during training your S/Sgt or S/Insp will tell you who to contact to arrange a fitting. The stab vests are second hand but have recently been tested and they still work, just a bit heavier than the ones the regulars get. Make sure you check the fit properly - they should be snug (but not too tight), and they should cover the length of your body to just above your hips. You can adjust the height by moving the poppers on the shoulder. I've seen some Specials wear stabvests that are too loose or too short - not only does it look scruffy, but it won't protect you properly.
  8. From training I recently had, the commencement date is the 20th October 2014 for most parts of the act, but one part (I think Civil Injunctions?) is delayed until January 2015.
  9. Dispatcher Stories

    Listen carefully to what officers ask and don't assume that Specials don't know what they're talking about. Recently I had the following conversation with a controller after going to a neighbouring county to collect a prisoner and transport him to a custody facility in the north of my county. The custody suite in our patch was closed (which I knew about as it was at the station I parade from). Me: "Control from callsign, I'm currently transporting a DP for serial 123 of today's date. Can you just check if the custody facility are aware we've got an adult male DP en route to them?" Control: "Patrol you are aware that your custody suite is closed and you'll have to transport to (gives a list of locations)? And are they aware?" Me (confused look to crewmate): "Control, not what I asked, I am aware that our custody suite is closed, can you check if the custody facility are aware we've got an adult male DP en route to them?" Having had this controller before she gives the impression that most Specials are a bit thick. The rest of the controllers on our channel are mostly great, with a few excellent ones. The excellent ones on our channel are either retired regulars or serving Specials.
  10. Carriage vests

    Just be aware that it will only be authorised if it can be proven that the belt is causing or exacerbating back pain/back injuries.
  11. Carriage vests

    If you're a Staffs officer you can only wear a carriage vest if you've been authorised to do so by Occupational Health after a referral by your line manager in which case stores will issue you with one. Otherwise you can't wear one (no matter what your mentor or any regular officer says).
  12. Where do you keep your warrant card?

    How do you identify yourself as a constable if you don't have your warrant card with you off duty? Our force (and most others I think) require officers to carry their warrant card at all times (within reason obviously - as others have said, going out on the lash wouldn't be the best idea).
  13. Shocking Abuse of Power

    So if I go to a shop, buy an item and they don't give me a receipt (or I throw it away) I'm a shoplifter, or being difficult? You are not required by law to produce a receipt. The staff would have to have seen you taking an item in order to carry out an any person arrest or have "reasonable grounds" (such as acting suspiciously). I can't see how (in this case and with the information provided) they could justify an any person arrest (which if you're being prevented from leaving a shop it certainly is). I also can't see how the person was being difficult, the member of staff at the door could have gone and fetched the manager, it's not up to the gentlemen in question to do that. On the flip side, the police were correct here, in as much as if one party makes an allegation and the other party makes an allegation and both parties wish to pursue the complaint then both sides would probably need arresting.
  14. Replacing Cap badges & Helmet plates

    (source) So yes, you swear allegiance to the Queen, but she is the representative of the Crown and as a Crown Servant you are "automatically" sworn to the next monarch.
  15. Replacing Cap badges & Helmet plates

    You wouldn't have to re-affirm your oath as you have pledged your allegiance to the Crown - the Queen is the current personification of the Crown, that's why it is her you refer to in the oath. When Prince Charles becomes King then you are still sworn to serve the Crown. New recruits would swear to serve the King though. As for the badges, I would imagine it would only affect forces with EIIR on their badge, which I think is just the Met (might be wrong on that?).