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Old Hand

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Old Hand last won the day on May 22 2017

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About Old Hand

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    Kent - RPU

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  1. Are you sure that number is correct? Thats staggering low. I can't speak for Essex but in Kent over a third of our SC establishment are Basic (120+) and we have around 20+ standard and 10 advanced. Last time I was with some MSC 18 months ago, they were response trained and there was more than two of them. I'd bet my mortgage the Met would have loads more than us.
  2. Old Hand

    Routine Arming of Officers

    Despite the weekends horrific events I can't see it. We'll see Taser first as thats the most sensible and more broadly required update to PPE. That said, we're talking nationally here. I think it more likely you would see geographic boundaries related to threat, harm and risk dictating routine arming rather than a force or a country. It would make sense to me to see certain borough's or teams being routinely armed based on the above. Its a proportionate response and lets not forget those that make the decisions carry a huge political burden so are unlikely to do a blanket role out of anything lest it goes wrong. Yes, I know in theory a terrorist or armed incident could happen anywhere, but I think it unlikely we'll see blanket arming. That said, if they did it, I'd carry with the requisite training.
  3. Exactly - a lack of basic emotional intelligence - I'm not sure the recruitment process looks for it.
  4. Old Hand

    Specials & Tasers

    Im sure their threat, harm and risk assesment is clear based on their policing environment and I'm equally sure their assessment criteria for employing officers who will be armed takes that into account when they make that selection of the person. Hence its not a retrospective arming situation, they select as they go.
  5. Old Hand

    Specials & Tasers

    There will always be differing viewpoints. I would argue that its about the individual not the role so to speak. I have worked with and still do, Specials who possess those core communications skills and composed mindsets, have fifteen, twenty plus years of experience. Although its not my decision I would feel more than comfortable they are the type of officer who would be up to the relevant competency level required if and when Taser makes it way out to us. Every situation has to be judged on it merits, no two situations will ever be the same. We should also remember that as long as we employ human beings either Regular or Special, and no matter how well trained, the fallibility of being human will always mean mistakes can happen. Experience has different meanings too. A 19 year old year one probationer may well have more core policing experience than a ten year, 40 year old Special. But will they have the street skills, self knowledge, communication skills and composure in the same situation? I'd argue potentially not. We should be mindful there is no one size fits all decision here. Personally, we need to remind the public that the expectations made of officers, (in highly stressful, fast developing and dynamic situations with people who don't and won't play by the rules that is their job), if applied to the every day member of the publics occupation where you said if mistakes were made would lead to suspicion, suspension and potentially dismissal would cause most people to find something else to do. Mistakes can and will happen. To expect anything else is naive. Training to a high level can mitigate and but it can't permanently prevent. Risk aversion is not a strategy.
  6. Old Hand

    Chevrons and Pips for Special Ranks

    My two penneth would be leave it as it is unless we also move to parity with the requirements in law and policy and procedure with the regulars for those ranks. Do the exams, pass them, demonstrate capability alongside regular colleagues. Even then, I think in certain areas we could be on a sticky wicket. I've commented on another thread on the challenges of Specials and the rank / grade structure. I'm not against modernisation, I'm fortunate to work in a force that is very much driving an agenda around utilising Specials in every increasing ways and specialisms. Personally I'd feel uncomfortable wearing stripes because other than the grade, and people leadership side from outside the force, I don't feel I'm on a par with regular skippers in the job. But, as I said, just my view.
  7. Old Hand

    Specials & Tasers

    This why we shouldn't have a once size fits all criteria for issue. Threat / Harm risk assessment for role / environment and similar for the person.
  8. Grade / Rank - I have, and I'm sure many of you have seen some disastrous selections of people put into these roles with no real competency or experience of leading people or indeed managing the politics that comes with climbing the ladder even as a volunteer. Over management, under management, abdication, favouritism, to name but a few of outcomes the wrong selection can cause. Of course, that also happens in the regulars but to a lesser extent in my opinion over my 23 years. Sometimes its just whoever applies gets the role, or the best applicant out of those who apply gets the role - not the right applicant. Sound bitter? Not at all. I've lead organisations of 15,000 people in my day job, so its not something I aspire to in the SC (at least at the moment). Indeed I only took S/SGT to avoid someone without the requisite skills and a tendency to micro manage everyone and everything getting the job some years ago. As a consequence we see people without the skills, competencies, experience and abilities racing up the ladder because they simply apply in many situations. The outcomes of that can be falling morale, enjoyment and ultimately hours and officer numbers at its extreme. Overconfidence at a relatively early policing age / experience level can and does cause problem with our regular colleagues. Experience is called experience for a reason. I don't blame the person - its an org issue. While we have grades / ranks we need people to fill them, and its not as easy as in the outside, full time world - and even thats not perfect. Finally, I'm not saying we don't have some great people at rank, just its a little more luck than judgement at times.
  9. I think the above has covered alot of it. For me, first and foremost is make them feel genuinely welcome, get to know them, really get to know them and thank them. Teach them and take an interest in how they're getting on. Your regular officers will come and go, but career specials can be there for decades. This one post and question speaks volumes for you Sir, thank you for asking!
  10. I agree with IJ, its not that linear. For us the system is in all the way through, with week one a mixture of A-B and response towards the end of the week and then generally interspersed particularly if using out of county roads in weeks 2 and 3 for different or more challenging road layouts
  11. Old Hand

    Specials driving matrix

    Green ticks across the board for Kent please.
  12. Old Hand

    SC RPU Officers

    For us it starts with a briefing, self or as part of the team working the shift, a quick catch up with the duty skipper, getting a car and then relevant vehicle and equipment checks. Then its task dependant, if part of the shift then it would be a loosely defined patrol area taking in the Strategic Road Network (Motorways), Important Road Network (Significant A Roads) and any towns therein. Of course we respond to calls, mostly RTC's, ANPR hits, self generated / reactive work. If it's a tasking, ASB with vehicles, speed focus or other, then we focus primarily on that in the area we've chosen or are given. That could include using the SL700, Tintman, one of our Unmarked cars and any other equipment we carry. Of course, we'll respond to Immediate calls on the patch too, back up colleagues etc. Its a broad role which you can make of what you will. If you enjoy the crime side then RPU lends itself very nicely to that, with the capability to make a great impact on the travelling criminal because we are not as reactive to the radio and call volume that our area colleagues are. If you are more KSI reduction / education focused then again RPU is a great place to be to make an impact there. Hope that helps a little.
  13. Old Hand

    SC RPU Officers

    I'd expect something around pro-active work on your strategic road network, focusing on reducing killed / serious injury collisions via active work on the fatal 4 - Drink / Drug driving, seatbelts, phones, speed. Also denying criminals the use of the road, call attendance, specifically serious rtc's and any other local priorities. As IJ alluded to, its rare to have officers new in service on RPU for a variety of reasons, but the aims are essentially the same. Ask questions, build relationships, dont get overly familiar, be respectful, take the rough with the smooth and get involved.
  14. Old Hand

    Hard shoulder incident

    The bandwagon effect. One does it and suddenly its a serious issue.
  15. Old Hand

    Traffic Cops

    In Kent we attended the modular equivalent of 'the traffic patrol course' which is 4 weeks and includes Test & Inspect, PG9, FIT testing, RIM training, more detailed work on DL's / Ins and more specific training around traffic legislation. The PG 9 element was more mechanically based and had detailed inputs into Braking systems, Suspension, Steering / Handling / Corrosion and a methodical, thorough process for checking a vehicle. I've never been over mechanically minded and so I had to work much harder than some of my colleagues who love tinkering with their cars etc. Its fair to say what it gives is a basic level playing field in order to be able to assess if something is immediate dangerous or not. The VOSA defects book you get with it is also a very useful guide for putting into words what you can see on the vehicle. All in all we were very well invested in on a par with our regular colleagues. A few of us are attending our HAZMAT training later this year too.