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Blogs

 

Diary Of A Special Constable

I've put together this diary to help all those thinking of joining, hopefully it should help!(This has already been posted in the main forum but I thought since I'm a WYP officer it may help some of you new recruits) My life as a special started when I was at university, at the time I was studying Public Services. A friend who is now also a special was applying and kept telling me to apply as he thought I'd be good for the job. So without giving it any thought I applied, once I'd hit send that was it, I felt a stone sink to my stomach. Around two months later I received an email from a police email address, at first I wondered what I'd done but it turned out to be a recruitment officer telling me that I'd passed the paper sift. The email warned me that the real application would come through. A couple of days later I received a fully packed a4 envelope re-confirming everything that the email had said and also my paper application forms. I was being asked everything: Health, Financial, References etc. Honestly 101 questions has nothing on these applications. I was quite concerned with the Health as I'd previously had a very serious health condition. However I completed the forms and hoped for the best. Again around a couple of months later I got a phone call from the same recruitment officer stating that the service were happy with my application and that they'd like to offer me to come to an assessment day. I'd heard that these days were notoriously difficult to pass, so was starting to worry. All this from someone who originally wasn't too bothered about joining. I was now starting to really get into it. I think Road Wars and Traffic cops were a lot to do with it though The day came round, so I put on my best and only suit and went with high hopes. I arrived at the testing centre, gave my name at reception and was told to sit in the corner. As I looked around the room I saw 7 other faces all looking as worried as I was. All of a sudden the reception door opened and a tall figure in a police uniform called us all in. We were taken into a room and sat down on individual tables. Before us were some papers, a clock beeped and we began. After the test was done we were told to go wait in the reception again, to await our interview. Interview!? I wasn't told I'd be doing an interview, my heart raced and my brain froze trying to think of what to say. I was led into a dark, boxy type room with two officers already sat there. I felt like I was on a murder charge or something, one officer greeted me and asked me the basic questions of name and such. As the interview got under-way I was asked questions about all my life and also how I felt I could meet the force competencies. I made sure I followed the other officer's body language and thought about my answers before saying them. About 30-45 minutes passed and I was told thank you for coming and we'll be in touch. As you do, I left the building thinking my police career had come to an end. I wasn't prepared, there was no way I could of passed the tests. I later found out a couple of weeks after that I passed my assessment and interview. It seemed I was the only one out of the 7 other people. Quite some time passed before I got my date for the medical, however when it came I was very nervous due to having a previous medical complaint. Again I put on my lovely suit and arrived at the medical testing centre. At first I was asked about my health and such, then I had the lovely drugs test whereby they took some of my DNA and my lovely yellow urine. I was then asked to sit in a small box and place some headphones on, very low frequencies were played to me and I had to push a button when I could hear them. It was a very strange feeling; however one I managed to pass. During the end of the test I was asked to go speak to the force doctor just to confirm whether he thought it would be ok for me to work, he wasn't sure so wrote to my consultant. That was it, I had passed everything they'd thrown at me and was now awaiting a training course date. I couldn't wait, nor could I believe that I'd got this far. A lot of time passed and at one point I had thought of applying to another force as they were taking applications for regulars however on the day I was going to phone them, I received a call from my recruitment officer telling me he had a date for me. I couldn't tell you how pleased I was when I heard that. Me, a special constable... it was really going to happen. Training was a lot of fun, it was based over six months worth of weekends, we learnt about the core basics of law and mainly things we'd be dealing with once we got out on those mean streets. The trainers were fantastic, always there to lend a hand whether you were at training or at home, they were nice enough to give you their personal mobile numbers for help. The group that I was in was quite a diverse group of some old and some young, but we all got along and are still friends to date. During the training we had a couple of tests to contend with, which you should make sure you revise for! I think the day to look most forward to is going for your uniform fitting, It really makes it feel like it's becoming a reality! A couple of the days to watch out for are your defensive tactics (yes it's true you do get sprayed with CS and yes it hurts) your pre-patrol day (such good fun, and informative too) and your attestation day (start polishing your boots as soon as you get them and learn how to march). So that's it. I'm now a fully fledged Special Constable, of course I'm still a probationer and I know the work starts here. Be prepared for about 35-40% of things you've learned to mean something. Since I've been patrolling I've realised that they don't teach you quite a lot of things, but I guess that's for you to learn. Now that I'm based at my station I'm mainly tasked with NPT duties. This can range on doing events, scene guarding, to going out with Response. The new teams I'm working with are lovely and all are very helpful. I don't think you seem to get the officers that don't respond well to Specials any more, I haven't yet found anyone like that anyway. Part 2 coming soon.

XA84

XA84

 

PCSO Assessment Day Sunday 18th March 2012 8:30 start

Hi im new to this Forum. Iv got my Assessment Day on Sunday 18th March 2012 at 8:30 at Spring House Holloway Road, Just wondered if anyone could give me any advice on what i should expect from the day as im a little nervous with the test due to i have heard good things and bad things about it all over the Net, And also if anyone else is attending this time for there Assesment. Would be great to hear back from someone. Thanks Danny

Danny1

Danny1

 

I'm not an Anarchist. I promise!

So, I'm feeling better now (I hope you visited the blue lamp foundation's website), and I can't sleep, so I thought I'd let you know about the next stage of the application process for Staff's Specials. As you know, I got the letter confirming I had passed the assessment day, and with it came a Counter-terrorism form and a medical questionnaire and a couple of erroneous medical-related papers. Firstly- Counter-terrorism. Very important in this day and age. It's part of the vetting procedure, and has to be sent off, in a provided envelope, to a separate department (not just to Human Resources). It's a peachy/orangey booklet that you may have had to fill out for a whole number of different reasons, from being a civil servant to contract work inside a prison. It's essentially a more formal version of the vetting sheets from the application booklet at the start of the process. You're asked basic details about yourself and both of your parents, and then about your criminal history and if you've ever been involved in anarchistic, terrorist or racist elements groups. That's pretty much all there is to it, and it probably won't take you more than 20 minutes. The next bit, the medical questionnaire, is quite simply, an absolute pain in the arse. Again, you fill out your details and your GP's details, and then you have to tick yes or no to several pages of various illnesses, and if you say that you've had one or more of them, you have to explain what it was and other details. Then you're asked your height and weight (so your BMI can be calculated) I'm 5'8" and 60Kg, so have a rather snazzy BMI of 19.2. Finally, and most problematically, for me anyway, is my immunisation history…as I moved Doctor, to my University's health centre I thought it would be best to go in and ask for my medical history, especially my height/weight and immunisation history, at a cost of 35p a sheet. 70p later (not funny- I couldn't afford a can of coke later because of that) I was told nothing about my immunisation history, excluding the Flu jab I was given when I arrived. I already knew about that, and it wasn't asked for on the questionnaire. *Sigh* They want to know what year you were vaccinated against Diphtheria, tetanus, TB, Polio, and Hepatitis B. As I went to Honduras last year I couldn't be certain as to whether I had been recently been given top-ups to those, as opposed to my regular boosters etc. So, after a call to my old GP, where I had to tease, painfully, the year of my immunisations from the receptionists (who were actually very nice), and not have to wait for my mum to open the letter they sent to my parent's home address I finally had what I needed. The other two sheets were simple enough, and asked your address (again) and your GP's address so they could send the form to him/her and get them to verify and sign it off. You don't need an exam or consultation to fill it out. The GP's are sent it later. The other sheet asks for your permission to have other people read your medical history etc. Send them off and you're all done. I'm currently waiting on a letter informing me when the medical exam is, as (I always have been) I'm completely confident there is nothing on either of the forms that will hinder my application, otherwise my parents (and the government to a much greater extent) would have some serious explaining to do. I'm glad I've got to this stage as now I can start to include the more exciting aspects of the application process, namely training, and eventually the duties I perform, which is what everyone's interested in, really. As ever, leave a comment, rate the blog, and check out My blog's site. Shikari

Shikari

Shikari

 

Ups and Downs

So I have some fantastic news and some terrible news (and yes, I’m aware the title of this entry was misused slightly.) So, firstly, the good news- I passed my Assessment day, with a pretty good margin. I have some medical and security forms to fill out, and I’ll go into some more detail about them in my next entry. But I’m incredibly happy about it. I was getting nervous about it, but I’m very confident I’ll pass the next couple bits of paper work. Now for my bad news- I’m sorry to have to say, if you didn’t already know, that PC David Rathband has tragically passed away. This is the hero Cop who was shot in the face by Raoul Moats, was blinded but remained a Police Officer and set up one of the most badly needed and noble charities I know of, the Blue Light Foundation. It would appear, however, that in the two years since he was shot, his marriage broke down and it seems he committed suicide. I can’t blame his wife. Very few people could know how stressful that situation is for partners, as well as the victim. I can however blame Raoul Moats, the coward who has another name to add to the list of people he murdered, in my opinion. There are very few people I hate with a seething passion in this world, but Moats was/is one of them. Further, I’m at a loss for words at the politicians that have to gall to give superficial condolences, especially to further their aims, such as whether the Northumberland Police gave PC Rathband enough support. It simply is not the time and, honestly, makes me feel physically sick. PC Rathband was one of my true heros. If I could be half the Police Officer he was then I can die a happy man. If you can spare a few pounds please make a donation to, or buy some merchandise from, http://bluelamp-foundation.org/. It’s a worthy charity that helps members of the emergency services, and their families, who are criminally inured in the line of duty. If you couldn’t, or don’t, do the job (whether it’s the Police, Ambulance or Fire service) help those that do, and get injured helping people like you. RIP David Rathband 1968-2012.

Shikari

Shikari

 

And it goes on, and on, and on, and on, and……

I know, I know. I’m sorry. I promised regular blogs and I’ve not posted one recently. I have good cause, I promise. I’ve been waiting until I got my results back from my assessment day. I expected this to be today, but I must’ve misunderstood when they mentioned 10 days, at some point. It’s been 10 days since I did the assessment, so perhaps I interpreted getting the results back in 10 days as me finding out today. Maybe it was the recruiters getting the results back to let us know by Monday. Either way I don’t really care. I was getting pretty nervous, although somewhat caffeine induced so this hasn’t helped. However I do have a defence mechanism for this kind of event (it could just be the Royal Mail being evil SOBs). I tend to enter a kind of ‘Que sera sera’ state, where I kind of trick myself into thinking I don’t care. Moving on now, Mike and I have been working quite hard on the blog, me with the writing and trying to come up with ideas; Mike with the graphic design and coming up with ideas. I’ve got a few ideas on the sort of thing I want for the blog’s look, but by and large I’m struggling to settle on a title and tagline. Maybe I should let it flow more naturally, and the right one will come along at some point. The downside is that I’ve been persuaded by Mike to set up a twitter account(actually, just revamp my old account), and I need an @blogtitle that hasn’t already been taken. I think I’m somewhat odd in that I’m at university and still have no idea how to use twitter. I’ve never been interested in it, probably because either I didn’t follow anyone interesting or I had nothing interesting to say. Now…I have something to say. Whether it’s interesting or not isn’t really for me to decide. This is just going to be a quick blog; I hope to publish a slightly longer one about the Criminal Justice system and how what the public’s opinion is, is generally wrong. Sorry Daily Fail. Shikari My external blog

Shikari

Shikari

 

Crunch time

Hey guys, so I’ve been holding off writing for a few days so I could report on my Assessment day with Staffs Police. I expect you’ve read other blogs on the same topic, but here’s my contribution. Please remember that you’re asked to sign a confidentiality form, so I won’t be revealing any details of the questions asked. I also have some news about the blog, and I’d appreciate your input. So, I had a fire drill at twenty to six in the morning. Not the best start to possibly the most important day of my life so far…(fortunately, as a drummer I brought my ear defenders with me to uni- the high pitched, loud and continuous tone didn’t bother me ). I woke up, put on my best suit and set off for the train station. On the way, being panicky I received a phone call from a fellow student who is currently a serving special for Herts. He was kind enough to give me a lot of help in regards to my interview questions and examples, which I’ll get around to later. Having caught the train, and being desperate, but failing, to start up a conversation with a couple of BTP officers on the station platform, I jumped in a taxi and arrived at Staffs Police HQ. It was the wrong one. There a two HQ’s/stations in Stafford, but on the map only one is marked as the HQ. Luckily I realised this with enough to time to get taken to the correct location, with time to spare. It was nearly a costly mistake. I signed myself in at 10 to 1 and took a seat next to another young lad, who was doing a policing course, where one of the requirements is to be a special constable for two years. One of the assessors came along and took us into a room upstairs, where she proceeded to inform us about the day, asked us to sign confidentiality agreements, and got us started on our 20 minute written test. I felt I did quite well with this and managed to cover what they asked, however I feel that I may have missed out on a covering a couple of the core competencies with my answer. This would become a common theme throughout my day, but I expect it was mostly nerves and paranoia. I had the mindset that, while I’d try and hit as many of the positive indicators as possible I’d still be true to myself. I wouldn’t say I’d do something that as an officer I wouldn’t. Fortunately this wasn’t really relevant for me. After around and hour or so, at around 2 we moved into another block for, yes, the dreaded interview. I was in the second group of four who would get interviewed, so I was stuck waiting for about half an hour while the other group did their interviews. It did give me the opportunity to talk to some of my fellow applicants one of whom is from this forum no less, although I did plan to drop PS.com into the conversation somewhere, to fish for other members, so to speak. All too soon it was time for my interview. My main problem, when doing something important, is that my mouth dries out, so ensure you had a cup or bottle of water during the interview, just to buy some thinking time, if nothing else. My interviewer was a nice bloke, although don’t expect much chit chat aside from a greeting. The questions weren’t quite how I expected, but fortunately, and this a definite recommendation, I had two examples for each competency that I could alternatively to each other. It was a big help as my primary examples weren’t always relevant, although I should have used them for at least one question. This is no doubt paranoia though, again. I was trying to avoid watching my interview tick things off, like you do on your driving test, but I noticed some questions got more marks than others. Fortunately the process is averaged over all, so we’ll see. I even managed to drop some jokes, in, or at least make the interviewer laugh, which is always good, even for something where the interviewer’s opinion counts for little, if anything. You do get asked question to expand your answer, so use these to add more detail to your replies. I didn’t get asked about my strengths or weaknesses, or why I wanted to join the Police, so while I would recommend that you do prepare for that, as all forces are different, just be genuinely yourself when answering that. After my 20 minutes was up I went out of the room, with about a minute to spare before the others came out of their interviews, and we headed back into the main reception/canteen block for the final part of the assessment- the multiple choice test. Do not be fooled by this- it is, at times, fiendishly difficult. Expect to be challenged. My advice would be to think about how, as you would want the officer to act, if you were involved or an observer. Try not to think about the competencies too much, it will distract you to an extent, and really you should just be honest about what you would, or wouldn’t do in each situation, because you may well have to deal with it one day. We finished the test after an hour, and were debriefed and allowed to leave. I shared a taxi to the train station with one of my future colleagues (Hopefully!), bought a cuppa (I was gasping) and, after getting messed around with platform changes got a train back home. Got the bus and got back with 30 whole minutes before hockey training. What a lucky young man I am. ¬¬ All in all I’m now feeling quite good about how it went. There will definitely have been worse candidates, not that you want to be the lesser of two evils, and a lot of the negativity that you may feel will be a passing phase. As soon as I left the HQ I felt a kind of serenity wash over me (two Firefly references in one sentence, anyone?), and while I am slightly nervous, of course, I was not nearly as panicky as I thought I would be. I think I’ve made the grade :D Still- 10 days until judgement day, well, 9 when you read this. Onto the second part of my blog (“Oh God, there’s more of this?†– Yep, sorry): I’ve recently been thinking about getting a wider audience base for this blog, because really do enjoy writing these, so I’ve been considering hosting this externally for the general public, as well as posting them on here. MikeBrum’s been kind enough to offer to help me host it. I’ve been trying to think of some decent names for the blog too and came up with a few suggestions: Here comes the fuzz Stabproofs and Tunics A study in blue (A play on a Sherlock Holmes novel) Boys in Blue I personally prefer the first one, but if you like another, or have a better recommendation, please let me know in the comments section. Again, if you liked the blog, let me know, give me 5 stars in the top corner and recommend me to other people on the board, and even other people in general. Thanks very much, Shikari

Shikari

Shikari

 

London 2012 bodyguards training in Northern Ireland camp

Elite armed bodyguards are being trained at a secret location in Northern Ireland in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics to keep athletes safe. Civilian mercenaries are travelling from across Europe to the countryside camp to hone their skills in close protection, the prevention of terrorism and major incident control. With the official qualifications earned during a gruelling three-week course in Co Down, they will be ready to guard VIPs and groups around the world – and command lucrative contracts. The Games' official organising committee in London is under fire from the US who claim the safety of their top athletes is at risk after the English experts admitted they had underestimated the number of security staff needed. And we can reveal today that officials working on the Olympic programme have already been in contact with the specialist security trainers in Northern Ireland. A Washington source told the Daily Mirror: "We believe al-Qaeda, or one of its affiliates, is likely to try to disrupt the Olympics, with the US team an obvious target. "Our sportsmen and women and their coaches and staff need proper security. We mean to insure that happens at all costs, whether we use our own people or trusted contractors. "The men and women taking up these new posts from Northern Ireland will be leading the way. They have the training and experience and they have that sixth sense that only comes from having been in challenging security situations. "We know about the Northern Ireland training camp. It's run by people with excellent credentials, vast experience and knowledge. We've been in contact and we like what we see." The contact came after bosses in Washington revealed they now plan to send 500 FBI and 500 other security agents to London to protect their citizens next year, and the Metropolitan police announced live on TV that most of its officers will not be armed during the Olympics. The Daily Mirror was given exclusive access this week to two groups planning to sell their knowledge and experience to the world's top names, as they were put through paces. The men and women taking up the training pay thousands for the privilege and many of the more recent applicants are PSNI Reserve officers who are facing the sack next month. Training included dealing with: - kidnappings, - sniper fire, - surveillance - ambushes, - conflict management - medic awareness - handgun training - hostile environment training - physical intervention, and - security guarding A source said: "The training offered at this camp is the best in the world. It is also recognised that the people being trained are some of the best in the world and are in huge demand. "But there are rules and regulations. People who want the big jobs need current qualifications. The Co Down course gives them that as long as they're good enough. For some of the men and women who come here the courses are simply a matter of a refresher as they've been working in the same area for the police and Army. "We have SAS specialists coming through who have left the job but just need certification before they can apply for the civilian contracts. "We have elite security trainers going through their paces for paperwork. And then we have people coming from all walks of life who believe they have what it takes to make it in the tough world of high-end, full-on security. "This week we have one young man who has turned out to be an absolute natural and he's a 24-year-old carpenter. But it looks like he has chosen the right career path now. "If he was on my security team I'd be more than happy. He's a good lad. He listens, watches and learns and I'd predict he'll do very well." Only one woman, 40-year-old Marion, from Donaghadee, Co Down, completed the most recent course alongside 13 men. She said: "I'm a police officer at heart and this area of policing is what really interests me. It gets the adrenaline pumping and you've got to be on your game. I don't want to leave the police but I'm being forced to because of the cuts to the Reserve Force." Marion – not her real name – applied for the specialist security training and took leave from her job knowing the PSNI would pay up to £5,000 towards the fees to assist with the imminent redundancies. She said: "The course was fantastic. The medical training alone is superior to anything I've ever experienced. I feel confident now that if you had your leg blown off I'd be able to handle the situation and save your life." Marion is already well-versed in riot control and anti-terror training as a member of the PSNI's Tactical Support Group. But she has learned other skills on the civvie street course. She said: "This training will help me find good work after the job I've been in for 14 years comes to an end. I could travel the world but there are enough close protection specialists needed in Northern Ireland. "Women are at an advantage with these qualification as there are fewer of us about." Many of those trained in Northern Ireland will be contracted to security work at the 32 Olympic sites. The London Organising Committee originally claimed it only needed 10,000 guards at the Games. But after a review the number is now 21,000. Venue safety will not be the responsibility of the police, so security firm G4S has been awarded the contract to find and train the initial group. It has set up an advertising campaign to meet that target and applicants from the Northern Ireland training camp are of special interest. One of the three men behind the Co Down training camp is Andrew Mawhinney, a retired police officer. Their company Minerva was partly funded by Invest NI. Mr Mawhinney said: "We are training men and women to a level three close protection qualification. "They can work for almost anyone and almost every company. The training is arduous, gruelling and repetitive but that's what it takes. This is not a TV show, these people are going into real situations where the enemy's intention is to kill and maim. There are many ways of doing that and our trained specialists need to now how to act in any given situation. This can be life and death. "Yes we have former members of the RUC, RIR, PSNI and SAS and we expect to have increased numbers of redundant prison officers soon. But we also have many civilians who have a natural leaning towards security work. "For some people our courses will be life- changing and will lead them to an amazing and well-paid career. For others who don't cut it, they've enjoyed an exciting course, learned some essential skills and made some very good friends. This training is not for everyone. But then we only want the best for the job." Anyone can apply for an elite Minerva security course and each applicant must pass security vetting before they are accepted. They must also be accepted as a gun club member to be allowed legal access to live weapons and ammunition And each course graduate receives certificates from City&Guilds and the Security Industry Authority. They must agree to attend monthly refresher firearms courses to keep their qualifications valid. Source I love the "Civilian mercenaries" spin These are the guys http://minervani.com/index.php, really bad website but Andy, Dickie, Esler and the rest aren't really webdesigners, they shine in other areas

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

Rung number two

So, big news, and the second rung on my ladder to joining the Police- I’ve been given an assessment date! I’ve got a few weeks to work on my competencies and make sure my examples are as strong as they could be. I’m mainly going to talk about the pack I’ve been given, maybe try and break some of the things down, and in the process, get my mind-cogs turning (maybe even add a bit of WD-40), and see if I can come up with the best examples I can. I’ll also be mentioning a few of the things I’ve noticed in past couple of weeks that you guys may find of interest. For you guys who have already been through the process, you may want to tune out for a while until I’ve finished this first bit. So- the assessment day information pack. First thing’s first- send the reply letter off, otherwise any effort you put into practicing it will be utterly wasted, as you’ll have to wait another 6 months and re-apply, without replying or just the 6 months, if for whatever reason you can’t make the date. I’m going to throw in a quick disclaimer here- everything I discuss in this post is based on the Staffordshire Police’s assessment day pack, and it may vary between forces (but the general principles will be the same, if there is any variation whatsoever), and nowhere does the pack say I can’t discuss the contents, which are actually more vague that you’d expect. Disclaimer over. Right, so, the pack (for me) includes a map of Stafford, a cover letter telling me I’m invited to an assessment day next month, and a ‘recruitment process booklet’ as it like to call itself and an RSVP letter, just like you used to get for birthday parties. It’s making me all nostalgic. Moving swiftly on- The process booklet contains information on the three activites that will take place on the day- A written test, structured interview and a situational judgement test. The written test is self-explanatory- You’re given a fiction scenario in a fictional town (Sandford Town, like Hot Fuzz…no influence, either way, of course) and you have to write a proposal document for your response, in 20 minutes. The interview is just that, an interview where, I believe you are asked questions such as ‘give an example of a time when you showed resilience’ (I can’t be certain about this, and if anyone who’s been through the process can, and would like to, let me know if I’m right or not, can feel free to leave a comment below. I’m not certain if you’re allowed to do this however), like in some versions of the original application form. Finally the situational judgement test- a 65 minute, multiple choice quiz, where you have to select the best and worst answer. These will be a process of elimination, but as with the example question I was given, it can be tricky- Make sure that the question is read thoroughly, and what seems to be the worst option might not necessarily be the worst. Needless to say I got the worst answer wrong. I still say it was a trick question though, there were equally as bad. like I said earlier, the assessment day pack is actually a bit vague, especially in regards to the interview, which is (quite simply) what I find to be making me most nervous. But don’t worry! You’re assessed on various competencies all day, at least twice. The assessors will give you a grade per competency, between A and D, and it’s your average grade, I believe that you’re passed/failed on. You are also told what you need to get in each competency (I assume) to pass, as well as what it is they’re looking for, and what will get you kicked out of the process before you can say…uhmmm…don’t kick me out of the process. Race and Diversity you need an A. No surprises there. The others it’s either a B or C. Don’t get a D. As a whole I’d say that the instructions given are pretty good, and I suppose that it’s designed not to give you clues, and while, from what I’ve heard, they want you to pass (and it’s going to take some serious stupidity to fail straight up) they aren’t going to give you examples and answers. They expect you to put the work in, otherwise there’d be no point in the tests. A final point- The hardest part, I find, it that while it’s going to take real idiocy to get D’s on things like Race and Diversity, it doesn’t appear to be that easy to get an A. On a similar line- to those that have done this bit- can you give multiple examples per competency, or does it have to be just the one situation? Now then- stuff I’ve noticed. This bit will be brief, mainly because I don’t really notice anything, because I don’t really do anything. I’m a student. ‘Nuff said. Actually, the one thing I’d like to mention is the way that people will often say “I expect this will get -1’d, but I’m going to say it anywayâ€, or “You’re all going to neg me, but I don’t careâ€, or similar. If you don’t care, a) why say it? b) don’t let people use the reputation system to change your opinions. One of my favourite things that I’ve noticed is that people are more than happy to tell you that they’ve _1’d you, but will rarely tell you they’ve -1’d you. Why is this? It may be that they’re scared of being -1’d back? The MODs aren’t stupid, they’ll pick up on this sharpish and will get it sorted, especially if you ask them to look into it. I love the rep. system personally, but I wish people would explain why they’re giving a +/-. I mean, if a child gets an answer wrong the teacher doesn’t just mark them down, they explain where they went wrong, so they can have a better chance of being correct next time. This is the same with opinions- you have to explain, maybe even give evidence as to, why your opinion is right and why theirs is wrong, as opposed to ‘it just is’. Shikari NB- Hi everyone, thanks for reading my blog, again I’d love some feedback on it. Any improvements you think I could/should make- too long, too short, more/less detail. What sort of things would you like to read about? How often would you like me to make a blog? I’m currently leaning towards fortnightly, but I’m more than willing to do a weekly blog if that’s what you’d be interested in. I find that a lot of policing related blogs are fairly irregular. I expect a lot of people lose interest after a few blogs. Not me though, you’re stuck with me now. I’ve got the bug ^^. On that note, I do spend quite a bit of time writing these and I’d really appreciate it if you spend a few moments leaving me a comment, maybe even rating the blog (5* would be lovely, but it’s up to you), let me know how you feel about the things I discuss and letting other people know about the blog, especially if you think it would be of use to them. Thanks very much,

Shikari

Shikari

 

Reckless or reliable? The people who work with danger

"A typical day would start with meeting the bodyguards, getting into the armoured car, and zooming off to one of the ministries. A place with so much violence - but with such hospitable people - is intriguing." Not the sort of working environment you would associate with a chartered accountant, but Adam Bates specialises in forensic accounting for KPMG, and was on the trail of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's missing oil-for-food millions in Baghdad. Adam says: "You sit in the armoured car in your pinstriped suit with your briefcase on your knee with the bodyguards around you - a big grin on your face." Accountancy would not be the profession that sprang to mind if you were asked to name a dangerous job. How about Jesse James' profession: "I spent 16 years as a bomb disposal expert in the army before joining MAG (Mines Advisory Group) International in 2004 in mine clearance. Since then I've worked on the Iraq programme, as well as in Lebanon and South Sudan." Another might be close protection work, of the kind that kept Adam Bates safe. Formerly a soldier with the Parachute Regiment and SAS, Stuart Gilks did this in Baghdad and Afghanistan in 2004 to 2006."Baghdad was without a doubt the most dangerous area you could end up working in, particularly the route between the airport and the [safer] Green Zone. Every day you would see debris along the road - and some of our colleagues were caught up in that." But as Adam Bates exemplifies, even the most sedate-sounding jobs can get tricky if being carried out in a certain country, and that does not have to be a war zone. International SOS employs about 10,000 people in 70 countries, helping organisations manage the medical and security risks faced by their employees. Arnaud Vaissie, its co-founder and head, says there is a surprisingly long list of dangerous countries: "Our clients listed 89 - almost half of the 195 or so countries - that they thought could be dangerous." At face value, he says, some hardly appear to be so: "Take the Maldives - a wonderful country but from a health point you need to plan for it. "There are also the countries that are reasonably well organised, but where the transportation accident ratio is a multiple of 10 of the accident rate you have in the UK." Richard Fenning, the chief executive of Control Risks, a global risk consultancy that helps organisations that work in complex and hostile environments, agrees that transport is the major threat: "The reality is - even in the most dangerous countries in the world - the biggest danger comes to you from a road traffic accident. "Even if you are visiting countries with high-profile security risks, such as Afghanistan or Iraq, this should still be a significant focus." There can be heavy financial costs when things go wrong. In 2008, the US Department of Labor reported the cost of accidents in the US to be $1bn (£0.64bn) a week in both direct and indirect costs. More recently, BP with its billions set aside to cover the Mexico gulf installation explosion, is an outstanding example of this. Evaluating the cost of accidents is one thing - trying to stop them happening is another matter. International SOS provides an online system that can be accessed via PC or a mobile phone called Travel Tracker which enables employers to keep track of their employees. Arnaud Vaissie says this gives them a very detailed picture: "You can triage your employees in all situations live and you can then identify which employee needs help. "We have analysts 24 hours a day looking at health and security risks around the world. They would identify, for example, whether there was a terrorist threat in Jakarta. We would then see who was at risk from that and we would push information at them." SHL is a talent measurement company that helps companies to recruit and develop talent to support their organisational objectives. One of its areas of expertise is to help organisations find the right sort of people to employ in high risk jobs and environments by providing scientific assessments of people in the workplace. One of the greatest risks is not necessarily the job - or even the environment in which people have to work - but the person doing it. Its chief science officer, Eugene Burke, says 60-80% of workplace accidents are attributed by various industry surveys to operator error: "We've been looking at this since 2004. There is quite a lot of research into types of people associated with accidents. " He says the ones that are less likely to be a risk to themselves or others have certain qualities: "Attention to detail, the ability to think forward and follow the procedures, and be aware of the impact of what they do. "The right sort of person will keep others informed. They will also show more responsibility - if they see something wrong they will be more likely to point it out." The oil company Shell says safety is its top priority - an attitude that is imbued in Peter Reilly. As a former Offshore Installation Manager for Shell in the North Sea, he says everyone working on an oil platform operates according to a set of rules. In his view this means people are less at risk than those working on solid ground: "A pipefitter working onshore may be less safe than one working with us offshore because we are all trained to be aware of each other. "We also get feedback from new people coming off the rig who may have seen things that we have got used to." Stuart Gilks now works as lead trainer for security giant G4S, whose 600,000-plus employees make it one of the world's largest private employers. Its activities include training people for work in hostile environments. His own experience as a close protection officer has not only helped him professionally, but even helped on holiday in Tanzania: "I was looking for somewhere to eat in Dar es Salaam and became aware that four people were following me. "It was quite obvious to me - although maybe not to others - that they were planning to rob me, and I had a couple of thousands dollars. There was no safe area to move to, so I walked back to them. It was the only route I knew. "I looked them in the face and they were so shocked at my reaction it switched the initiative in my favour and I was able to move away safely." Eugene Burke says the sort of person who is more likely to have an accident is also more likely to be on the receiving end of something dangerous. "Look at security guards - for one company we found that the odds against an accident were are 19-1. But those who lacked the right approach were six times more likely to have an accident. They were also six times more likely to be involved in some form of attack. "Why? Well criminals target the less diligent crews and the more accident-prone members are also more likely to be involved in an accident too." Control Risks' Richard Fenning says it is important to maintain a sense of vulnerability: "You get people who start to collect dangerous locations and who become addicted to the risk and become gung-ho. "You need people who are not trying to win any medals or make a hero out of themselves and it is incumbent on companies to get this right." Why would someone who met the careful and observant personality type that most companies see as the safest for undertaking a dangerous job, enter in to such a risky environment? Matthew Harding, G4S's managing director of risk consulting says some people simply find the stable working environment dull: "People get very keen on the atmosphere of such jobs - if you look at those who work in these environments they tend to work in them for many many years. "I have a lot of ex-soldiers who are doing very challenging jobs in difficult circumstances." Forensic accountant Adam Bates still goes out on short-term foraging jobs in dangerous places: "It is a stereotype to say that everyone who joins a firm of chartered accountants is boring and grey and doesn't look for excitement in life. "You could definitely get addicted to working in a dangerous environment." Most people engaged in dangerous occupations have very cool heads. Jesse James says mine clearance "is pretty mundane and complacency is a worry. It is the same job month after month." Peter Reilly says the most difficult part of his job is not flying over the North Sea in a helicopter to a piece of iron on legs for work, it is being away from home: "One of the first people I worked with was a Royal Navy officer. We though he would be OK as he had been used to being at sea for five months at a time. "In fact he lasted only a few months and then looked for an office job - he simply found it too hard to have to say goodbye to his family every other week." MAG's Jesse James picked an incident involving an unlikely detonator when asked to single out his most scary experience mine clearing: "I was working with a colleague who uncovered what looked like a mine. He came back down the clearance path for me to take a look. "But before I could, a herd of cattle came out of the bush and walked right over the mine that I was walking towards. Luckily none of them stood on it." G4S's Stuart Gill is now living in Hereforshire as the company's director of training, teaching others about keeping safe where he "now cycles to work, rather than bumping along in an armoured vehicle". He says there are not many adrenaline-chasers in his line of work: "It's not about thrill-seeking. I don't know anyone that does what we do seriously for thrills or kicks. You might get some at the low end of the industry that like hiking around with guns and bullets but I'd be very cautious of anyone with that attitude." He says: "Some people say you need to be of unsound mind to do this job. I would say it is completely the opposite - a job for the mature, thoughtful type." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16351127

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

In My Blood

Policing is in my blood. That's probably the easiest way to sum it up. My Dad was an Inspector when he retired, after 30 years of service which ranged from traffic to CID to desk sergeant, from Notts Constabulary. My Mum works for the CPS. Has done for as long as I can remember. You could say that the Law is in my blood, that the Criminal Justice system is second nature to me. As this is my first blog entry, I'd like to give you some background on my life, and how much policing means to me, before I get into the application process, and eventually (because it is inevitable) my duties. I think it's only fair that, if I give you regular and hopefully interesting blogs, you have to know a little bit about me. Some of my earliest memories are when my dad had to take me to work with him, because of an Inset or something. I'd run around my town's police station, up and down the stairs, attempting to play snooker on a full size table. I was about 4 or 5. I couldn't play snooker. I could barely hold the cue. I was never allowed round to the front desk, for reasons that now make sense to me. My home town was a medium sized ex-mining town, but you can see those that are addicted to heroin. I'm proud to have a home town where one of the estates was featured on The Jeremy Kyle Show special on gangs *Insert sarcasm emoticon here*. It's not a really a gang. Not like the ones in cities. They're chavs, on benefits, that just make life hell for the other people living on their estate, on their street. I mention this because my old man told, after watching the episode with me, how he'd gathered the chav's parents in a community meeting, years ago, and told them straight up what was happening and how they could improve their estate. He reduced the crime rate in my town dramatically. I'm proud of my Dad. I want to do him proud. I will do him proud. I didn't want to be a Police Officer for most of my life. Truth be told I wanted to be a Palaeontologist. Then an Archaeologist, then a Palaeontologist, then a forensic scientist, then back to palaeontology again. I was stubborn and stuck with that for years, but I didn't really believe it. I think I was scared that what I thought I was destined for just didn't interest me anymore. I did my work experience at a forensic car clinic (PM for some information about that, or I may go into it in another blog), and I wanted to study Geology at university. Forensic science was just a hobby, as far as I could be a part time forensic scientist… Then, one evening, while staying with my Gran, I watch an episode of Street Crime UK or something. I'm fascinated. I'm excited. I'm addicted. I think to myself- I could do that. And so begins my torrent of questions to my Dad. This is a man who's been retired for 7 or 8 years, a man who's moved on, who has a headful memories, some of which he'd rather forget. I don't understand why he's not proud. He says he just did his job. It was just a job. To me it was a calling. It didn't take long for me to work out my battle plan. I'd do my A-levels, go to Uni and then, jobs in the Police will have opened up. I find out about Specials, being a part-timer appeals to me. Practice makes perfect, as they say. I learn about PS.com and sign up. It's a great resource, filled with friendly, informative and ever-so-rarely cynical people. Over the next year or so I begin to immerse myself in the world of PS.com, and of the various reality TV police shows, from Road Wards to Brit Cops. I learn from them, learn how to deal with certain situations, and get wound up by people flouting the law. I began to make promises to myself: Always to get involved in fights and break them up, always do the right thing, make sure that my every action ensures I uphold the law. Unfortunately I only ever had the opportunity to break up a fight twice. It wasn't dramatic but I was proud of it. I was less proud when I walked when I walked away from breaking up another one. I think I was most worried about how much force I should use. I was ashamed of myself to say the least. More than a year later I turn 18. The day before my birthday I talk to one of my School's Behaviour Mentor. He used to be my school's Police Liaison Officer. I remember he once broke up a fight by grabbing the two lads by their collars and dragging them by the scruffs of their necks up to his office. He was a good cop. He told me that he joined my Dad's old station a year or two after he retired. He told me about my Dad's reputation, and it fills me with pride. It turns out that the other Behaviour Mentor is a Special Constable, who has an important role in recruiting SCs. A few days later my application pack arrives. I open it more excitedly than my birthday presents and get started. I've never believed in destiny or fate, but I do believe that people are suited to do a certain job. Some people are born to be Nobel scientists, some to be actors; others are born to be doctors, dentists or builders. Some are born to do great things that are remembered, other people will have a more humble life. Me? I was born to be a Police Officer. I get the feeling sometimes that I live in a romanticised vision of the Police, where red tape and politics don't exist. That's what I want to return the Police to. But most of the time I hold no such illusions, but I want to do it anyway. I have to do it anyway. If I don't become a Police Officer I genuinely believe there is no point in my existence. I have a knack for learning and interpreting law, and I'm willing to throw myself into dangerous situations to protect other people. Despite all the bureaucracy and politics, I believe in being that thin blue line. Shikari Hi, guys. This is my first blog entry and I'd like some feedback. If you think it was too long, or detailed, boring or irrelevant or if there's anything you'd like me to cover in a future entry. Also how often you'd like me to post an entry, if you want me to do another entry, that is.

Shikari

Shikari

 

Whatever happened to the City Police?

Some of you may remember my last blog entry - basically I applied to become a regular with the City of London Police, and having passed all the stages was awaiting a start date. At each stage I got to I thought to myself that this is as far as I'd be getting - it all seemed too good to be true. And alas it was. A couple of months or so after receiving my letter from CoLP, our wonderful Government announced 20% budget cuts to the police service. I strongly suspected at that point that it would mean the end of the road for me, despite the City Police being very well funded compared to other forces. Needless to say I was right, it was too good to be true and received a letter from them saying that my application had effectively been binned. I was quite bitter - I did everything that was asked of me, and they then had the cheek to ask whether I wanted to become a Special with them (even though I'm already a Special with Surrey Police). Despite the setback, I've had a remarkably good 2011. I started out the year by paying off the last of my debts - it literally took me years to clear and was a huge weight off my shoulders when it was finally gone. It meant I was in a position where I could make choices. I went from being a lodger to renting a nice flat to myself in SW London, and transferred at the same time to the response team at Staines for six months (I've just moved back to my previous role as a S/Sgt on neighbourhoods). And I've bagged myself a lovely girlfriend too and we've been together now for six months. The one thing that was still in the back of my mind was my job situation - I have a job that pays the bills, but it's not a career. There are lots of different public services that I would be proud to make a career out of, but none are recruiting. Two months ago I got an e-mail from the London Ambulance Service - the year before I'd expressed an interest in their Emergency Medical Dispatcher position (taking 999 calls and dispatching ambulances). They'd opened recruiting and I had two weeks to submit the forms. I spent the whole weekend on them, ensuring I hit all the essential criteria. I was short-listed and about a month later was invited to attend an assessment centre at their offices in Bow in East London. The assessment centre consisted of a written test, a numerical reasoning test and psychometric testing. To my delight I passed the assessment, and was invited back to take a keyboard test and an interview. I spent quite a bit of time preparing examples on all the areas that I was told I would need in the interview. When I got there the questions threw me, and I had to think on my feet to come up with different examples for all bar one of the questions. I was convinced I'd failed, but to my shock I received an e-mail the following morning with a provisional job offer (subject to CRB check and references). The likely (but not confirmed) start date will be in February. It is now extremely unlikely I'll be re-applying to the regulars in the next few years, but I will continue on as a Special in anycase. Roll on 2012!

Giraffe

Giraffe

 

The beginning...

After years of wanting to become a Police Officer (it was a childhood want), I finally took the plung and enquired as to how to go about this amazing career. I was slightly disheartened when I was told that, unfortunatly the police are not recruiting at this time - though their are a number of Volunteer roles I may be interested in. So I checked the info on the police websites that I had gathered during my online search for info on joining the police force. Comming across 'Special Constables', I was intrigued so I gathered all the info I could regarding this role - the more I read, the more I liked. I contacted the relavent depertment and soon received my application form for Special Constables. Filling in the form was kind of a long process, trying to remember previous address' as I have bounced around a bit. I sent this form off (via Email). In the mean time, awaiting any correspondence I started to read through the forums here at policespecials.com I received my success of paper sifting in the begining of November, which content stated I was to await a further letter with a future date for the next Assessment Centre process. Upon reading further on these forums I noticed that I had been too late for a assessment on the 12th and 13th. I called HR and was told they person I needed to speak with was not available and to call back later next week. Its now the next week and I will be calling them tomorrow. I hope the next assessment is soon - I can not wait to get started!

ANDOS

ANDOS

 

The waiting is over!

Well after over a year of waiting I am finally starting training in November 2011. I am both excited and very nervous about the prospect of becoming a warranted officer of the law. (ekk) Even now when I hear myself tell my friends and family about becoming a special I beam with pride, 13 months ago I could not have imagined where I would be today and hopefully in the future, me a police officer? I have my friend to thank for taking me on my first observation shift where I started to consider a future with the police, be it as a special or even a carer. I have been told many things about training some good some bad and the most important rule NEVER to be late. I am thinking you will be toasted or punished by being told to sit on a naughty chair or first for the CS test!! Well I will be making more post as training moves on, not only for myself to look back on but for other people considering becoming a special, don't worry I wont let any operational secrets out the bag especially about the one where haribo is a must in every police officers kit bag. Speak soon!! Wayne

Woody

Woody

 

waiting on my assesment day 1

hi all im new to this so forgive me if its a little boring. i applied for application as a SC in cumbria on the 27th july, received my application form 2nd august. sent off application 6th august and received good new on the 10th august that my application has been accepted and graded at a grade B. muchley chuffed. was advised on 18th august that i was on reserve for the 10th sept assesment day 1. phoned on the 5th sept to inquire about the assesment centre pack but was advised that i was now going to be on an assesment centre later in october. but now realise that it will give me more time to prep. lots of books to read and lots of example question papers to do. courtesy of a book called. How to pass the police initial recruitment test, i found a few of these books at my local library. its also dieting time. started mon and now my diet consists of toast and barocca for breakfast, protein whey shake for dinner and either chicken and rice or fish and pasta for tea. will keep you posted on how this works out. :D

Entricity

Entricity

 

2012 Olympics; SAS everywhere

It comes as no surprise that armed security will be the name of the game when the Olympics come to the UK, but it appears that current and former SAS will be on the streets in great numbers. The main stories seem to surround all the armed Police that are going to be deployed around the 34 venues of the UK games, with all leave cancelled and highly visible teams not only patrolling the streets, but securing hotels near Hampden Park in Glasgow to Weymouth in Dorset and everywhere VIPs and competitors are likely to be found in between. Two previous Games - Munich in 1972 and Atlanta in 1996 - have been disrupted by terrorist organisations and the UK Government want to ensure things go smoothly. Every force wants to ensure nothing happens on their patch and with locations for certain competitions not yet fixed, such as where Football teams from "high-profile" nations such as the US, Israel or China might play their games, everyone is planning for maximum security requirements. Look a little deeper though and you'll find Special Forces, Spooks and a huge army of covert operatives with 'special backgrounds' will be swelling the numbers of Police and Uniformed Security from the likes of G4S. With all planned CT roles allocated in Afghanistan and all ops assigned to the SBS and SFSG, leaving nothing for the SAS beyond 6 months from now, you don't have to be a genius to work out the Regiment will return to the UK to cover the games - the venues too numerous and too geographically spread for the Sqn on CRW duty to deliver anything other than an after-action response, it appears the government are fielding every available man they can get their hands on in a bid to pre-empt trouble. Members of SAS CRW have already been involved in a 2-day hostage rescue Op with several Police teams at Loughborough University which Team GB are going to use as a training base. Word is out from a number of major hotel chains for former SAS members who are now working in the private sector to get in touch with a view to bolstering their in-house provision, worried that they might find themselves the venue for a terrorist attack; several Private Security Companies now have a "Special Projects" division providing only former Special Forces personnel to clients who insist on ex SAS and they are already booked up for next July-August. Those of us with 'less special' backgrounds are getting booked up too, I'll be there, but those with the magic three letters on their CV are calling the shots at the moment, other positions backfilled as there are more positions than there are ex balaclava display team members to fill them. So when you're at the games and get barged by a serious look guy with a weathered complexion and an intent stare at something up ahead, don't make a big thing of it, take a deep breath, let it drop and move on...

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

Conditional Bail

Condition: Mr Potato Head isn't allowed with in 100 feet of Mrs Potato Head. The following day... As Mr Potato head has breached his bail conditions and by the looks of it committed a further offence... He is thrown back behind bars leaving Mrs Potato Head extremely satisfied...

Mr Potato Head

Mr Potato Head

 

UK to give legal backing to armed guards on ships

BRITAIN is preparing to give firm legal backing to the deployment of armed guards on UK-flag ships. Legislation is being drawn up that will formally accept the use of private security personnel on ships sailing through waters where pirates are active. Although many ships are known to have armed protection, including a considerable number operated by UK-based companies, the legal position remains uncertain. Both the shipowners who employ armed personnel and the guards themselves could, technically, be in breach of the law. The UK is now poised to remedy that situation, changing the law where necessary to ensure shipowners whose vessels have firearms on board are not at risk of prosecution. The British government is thought to be one of the first to promise statutory changes. Source

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

Blackwater's Secret Army

http://www.nytimes.c...t/15prince.html Yes they're Xe now, not Blackwater but I prefered this title Interesting and lengthy article about Eric Prince's latest exploits, snippet below, follow the link for more. A mate out in the Sandpit has been talking about various happenings out there for a while now, I guess this explains it ................................................ ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand. The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom. Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by The New York Times. The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year. The U.A.E.'s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country's biggest foe, the former employees said. The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks. The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials.

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

LASEK eye surgery

In order to get into the regulars (police) I require 6/6 vision unaided. Due to my poor vision I opted for laser eye surgery and looked at two places. The first was called Ultralase and the second Optegra, I had previously enquired with Optimax but they kept hassling me and so I took them off the list. When I went to Ultralase they ran some tests and said they could not achieve 6/6 vision for me and neither could Optegra. Low and behold I felt a dash down, as this was one hurdle for the police I would not be able to cross. Nerveless I went to see Optegra and had heard amazing things about them and how their equipment is the best in the UK. I went and they looked at the shape of my eyes, and checked all the bits they needed. Then I met the optometrist Oliver who did the usual eyesight checks and said he could get me to Left eye 6/9 and Right eye 6/6 overall 6/5 vision after laser surgery. I then met with Mr Rob Morris the surgeon who ran through what would happen and that LASEk is better for me than LASIK due to there not being a flap created like there is in LASIK, so I agreed to LASEK. Few weeks later I called them to arrange the operation, went in on 31st March fully informed of what was going to happen. At 1335 I went in, and was given a shower cap to wear and had local anaesthetic drops put into my eyes. I then went through to the "Laser room" where I laid down on the bed and looked into a light. I had more drops added to my eyes and one was clamped open whilst the other covered. Rob Morris then used a trephine on my eye to make a small incision into the outer cornea layers called the epiphillium, which he then folded to one side. The laser was then lowered with lots of lights around it, and I heard them say "Pupil is locked on" and "6 seconds in this eye", then the laser was administered to my right eye for 6 seconds and then same thing done for my left eye. After the procedure I could see, but it was very blurry due to the amount of drops I had. An hour after I started to feel pain in my eyes so I used the painkiller drops on them, which soothed them for a short while. I then went home and my vision seemed good, but when I got home my eyes were so sore, and I couldn't open them at all because they were so sensitive to light. I just went to bed and slept but wearing my special goggles I was given. Day 1 (Post op) Friday - First day, woken up and very sore and gritty eyes, time for my 7am drops, I could barley see anything as they were so sensitive, but took the drops and went back to sleep. Woke up again at 9am and could see and it wasn't that painful as had taken my painkiler drops earlier on. Vision seems good bit blurry but that's the epilphiium healing. Day 2 (Post op) Saturday - Eyes really sore again, had to gently wash around them and not get water in them, take painkillers and drops, eyes really teary. Day 3 (Post op) Sunday - Eyes feel fine, left eye is more clearer than right Day 4 (Post op) Monday - Getting my bandage lens taken out today. I go to see Optegra and meet with Oliver, who looks at my eyes, saying they are healing well. I then look at the board of letters and can see most of the second page. He then takes the bandage lens out and my vision goes all blurry this is due to the epithilum cells being partly attached to the lens and some come off, so they need to regrow. My vision at this point it back to blurry but I can see enough to drive, they are just really sore and dry so administer the eye drops. I go home and sleep. Will keep you updated on my vision, as its a bit blurry as I write this. Turns out the drops I'm on (Exocin) which is antibiotics and (Maxidax) which is anti-inflammatory, prolong bluriness in order for the cornea to heal, interesting. Day 5 (Post op) Tuesday - Had a good nights sleep, woke up and eyes don't feel dry. I can certainly read more and see more things in detail as well. Watched Despicable Me on iPad last night, seemed to be not so blurry its just far objects and sometimes close that feel blurry. Day 6 (Post op) Wednesday = Eyes felt the same today, however had a long sleep this afternoon which seemed to improve them a bit, and they don't feel sore anymore just bit dry. There was certainly some improvement whilst I slept as could read the big titles of my books on my bookshelf, albeit a bit blurry. Going to get looked at again by Oliver at Optegra tomorrow, where he can tell me the state of the healing, as it can take a minimum of two weeks for the epilphillium to heal and flatten itself out Day 7 (Post op) Thursday = Eyes felt a bit better today, and had to drive to Optegra so wore my sunglasses for the first time, and could read much better than I previously could. Arrived and was greeted by Oliver again, who ran some tests similar to what I had done when I went to the free consultation to look at the cornea etc. I then read off the board and could see pretty much up to the 6/6 line of text, albeit a bit blurry. I asked Oliver about the healing after he examined my eyes and he said they are nearly healed, and the blurriness should fade away shortly. He gave me some better eyedrops to lubricate the eye more and also aide with the healing process. Went to Woking for a meeting and enjoyed the glorious sun wiht my sunglasses on. Day 8 (Post op) Friday = Today I come off Exocin, and on use Maxidex twice a day, but this new stuff I use 4 times a day to lube the eye and aide it with healing. Woke up this morning being able to see more, took my 7am drops and then watched some tv, had a little sleep from 1130 - 1230 and woke up with being able to read my PHP book on my bookshelf with no bluriness, which felt amazing just need to continue the resting of the eyes as they are certainly healing and getting better. 1 Month post op -- Went on Thursday 28th April saw the specialist, I was told I definatley have 6/6 vision, however the right eye is still healing so I should get 6/5 vision

milkandcookies

milkandcookies

 

just a quickie.... (update that is)

wow, has it really been a few months since my last post? What have I been up to I hear you ask? (or maybe not). Well, not much other than the usual stuff, going to work, selling the house and the inevitable house-hunting that goes with it. Duty has been a bit of a mixed bag. I spent 8 days assisting with the training of the explosives dogs (not dogs that explode, that would be messy, but the cheeky pups that are starting their career with Sussex (and other forces) police sniffing out various explosive materials. Quite an interesting experience and very impressive how eager the dogs are and how quickly they learn. For obvious reasons cant really say much more about the whole affair but if you ever get the chance to get involved in such activities, I would strongly recommend it! Spent a bit of time covering officers days-off on response over the past few months. Always nice to respond to offences I wouldn't normally get involved with on NPT (mainly domestic violence on a weekend). Last Saturday I started off attached to two operations (flip-flopping between them accordingly) but as the night went on my crew partners got pick-off one by one until it was just myself driving around in the prison van. The last three hours where crazy and ended assisting response, I think I hit a personal record for the amount of jobs attended within about 90 minutes. "Charlie xxx, can you break for a .....", "thanks for the result, are you free for a.....", "Any officers available for assistance shout...." "can you break to attend.." One look up at the dark night sky and it all become obvious.... a big fat full moon! Now this isn't a complaint, I actually love it when its busy like that, keeps the adrenalin going, however.... I stood down much later than my previously estimated lateness (my own fault for taking what seemed like a simple transport job) and on my walk home (my partner was meant to give me a lift as we were supposed to finish at midnight.... he did, I did somewhat much later), face flat down in the middle of a road in a residential area was an 18 year slightly worse for wear and quite a bit of road-rash around her chops. Quick call over the radio and there i was assisting the poor soul while she targeted my boots with her incessant vomiting. Waiting for what seemed like ages (any small amount of time seems ages when you are dodging vomit) the ambulance arrived, stood down after passing her details I had managed to prise out of her. And eventually home to face the 'where the hell have you been' glares emitted from the love-of-my-life This Sunday I've been ask to help with the new Specials senario day by helping operate radio control.... I guess this means I had better brush up on 'correct' radio speak!

elloelloello

elloelloello

 

Meeting the Ninja Ski Instructor

Interesting BG article from the Telegraph below; no it's not about me :-) Part of me thinks that realistically his services are not going to be needed - nobody is going to try and snatch someone from the slopes as you've next to no chance of successful escape (unlike bundling them into a car in town) but knowing how neurotic lots of Principals are, I'm sure he'll make lots of money, good luck to the guy .................................................................... You normally know what you can expect to find in a ski school brochure. Group courses, private lessons, children's club, perhaps a special cool school for teenagers. But a bodyguard service..? The Swiss Ski School of Verbier has just published its new brochure, and believes it may have come up with a first – by offering skiers the services of a Swiss-qualified instructor who is also a trained bodyguard. You may wonder why you might need one. Have manners really become that bad on the slopes? Are the rosbifs really so boorish and unpopular that they risk being lynched on the piste? Or have the lifts become so crowded that you need a bodyguard to defend your place in the queue? Not according to the man in question, Michael Mason from Brighton. He expects his services to be of interest to visiting celebrities, and to super-wealthy skiers worried about the risk of kidnapping. "People like Russian billionaires," says Mason, "they know that criminals are going to think seriously about kidnapping their kids. They probably have their own highly trained security, and are protected in resort, and when they are driving – but can their bodyguards ski?" So what, you wonder, would a ski instructor/bodyguard actually do when things get ugly? Unclip his skis for a round of fisticuffs? Bundle his celebrity client onto a waiting skidoo to whisk them away from irritating fans? Smuggle them down the slope incognito in a blood wagon? "It's all about eyes," says Mason. "It's seeing a problem before it gets too close. It's about planning, and being prepared. Close protection isn't about being a roughty-toughty, it's being able to think clearly and spot trouble before it happens. That's all part of your training." It's not so different from the awareness you need as a ski instructor, says Mason. "The whole time you are thinking about the safety of your students, watching out at crossings, keeping an eye out for skiers or snowboarders who might be out of control." Mason's protection extends to breaks, as well – for example, avoiding exposure in visible locations by making reservations for lunch, using a false name that has been agreed with the restaurant. When he is not in Verbier, Mason is based in Brighton. Outside the ski season, he teaches martial arts and self-defence around Britain, works as a freelance bodyguard, and runs courses in close protection – mostly for former soldiers who want to work as bodyguards. A long way, you might think, from the world of the ski resort. "I always wanted to be in the mountains," says Mason. "When I was growing up, it very rarely snowed – but when it did, I loved that mystical, magical feeling when everything went white. I loved the snow, I loved being cold, and I just had this dream of living in the mountains." He discovered skiing on a school trip, aged 16, and fell in love with the sport immediately. For many years he skied for pleasure, before training as an instructor in Verbier – where he has worked for the local Swiss Ski School every winter since. His passion for martial arts, meanwhile, began at the age of ten: "It was at the height of the Bruce Lee era. There was a programme on TV called Kung Fu with David Carradine, and the first time I saw that I was hooked." Mason took up karate while he was still at school, and went on to train in the Japanese martial art of aikido, before qualifying as in instructor in Krav Maga, a combat system developed in Israel. Soon after, he discovered what was to become his calling – the Japanese martial art of Ninjutsu. For the past 20-odd years, he has been travelling to Japan for a month every year to train with a grand master. Ninjas are known in popular culture, both in Japan and in the West, as masters in sabotage, espionage and assassination. Over the centuries, they have gained a reputation for possessing supernatural skills – such as being able to control the elements, and become invisible. For Mason, it is not just the oldest of Japanese martial arts, but also a highly spiritual discipline. "It's not about how well you can kick, or punch, or throw someone, it's about how well you can recover from being punched, kicked or thrown. It's about developing the spirit of survival. "If you are thrown 1,000 times, you get up 1,001 times. In training, I may be thrown six feet up in the air, slammed onto the ground, and choked – and yet afterwards I bow, and say: thank you very much. But that's not part of English culture – saying thank you for nearly breaking my bones." Much of the discipline, according to Mason, is about controlling your ego. "You don't get into a fight just because you think you're tough. Sometimes it means avoiding trouble. It's about picking your fight at the right time, when the odds are in your favour." Which fits in with the image of Ninja as the stealthy, quick-witted fighter of folklore. "Like any martial art, it's about using your body in the most efficient and effective way," says Mason. "And that's not so different to skiing – it's about being able to survive whatever the mountain throws at you." Source

MrBlonde

MrBlonde