Disable-Adblock.png

We have detected that your browser is using AdBlock

Police Community is a not for profit organisation and advertising revenue is key to our continued viability.

Please disable your AdBlocker on our site in order to continue using it.
This message will disappear once AdBlock has been disabled.

Thank you for your support - we appreciate it !

If you feel you are getting this message in error please email support@policecommunity.co.uk

Sign in to follow this  
A.Smith

Letter from SC Elkins, Frontline, issue 171, page 16

Recommended Posts

It's good to see the topic (or should I say issue) of Specials and response training come to light in the latest edition of frontline as per edition 171 page 16.

The reply from the Superintendent John in my opinion is weak and somewhat misses the point though.

Firstly, the officer submitting the letter Mike Elkins makes reference to TPT/RPU officers only been given response training. Superintendent John in his reply states that he is not aware of Specials in RPU been trained in response - SC Elkins clearly didn't mean that.

Secondly, I was under the impression that training I have received and experience I have gained over my career of years has equipped me to deal with incidents, including grade ones. Superintendent John's assertion that "we need to be sure the officer has received the level of training to be equipped to deal with the appropriate incident" makes me question otherwise though: what has all the training and experience been for? My training and experience allows me to deal with grade ones and be the first on the scene where I work in the city centre by foot (or occasionally by vehicle if I am close by). However, put me in a vehicle that is some distance away and could benefit from been driven on a response run and all of a sudden I am not equipped to deal with the appropriate incident or had the right training? I know I have simplified the argument somewhat, but that's what it boils down to and it infuriates me.

If Superintendent John feels we aren’t trained and equipped to deal with incidents why don't the Constabulary remedy this? The need to make sure implies some kind of test/ judgement is needed? Why not discuss and create what such a judgement would involve – how can we ensure that we are trained and equipped?

I agree and I recognise the cultural change and improvement that has been the allowance of Specials to complete the five day initial car course. However, this is only a step in the right direction. Bring us in line with other police forces and offer the initial response training. In fact, bring us in line with other emergency services that allow their volunteers to respond to incidents: retained fire fighters respond on blues and so do the NHS voluntary co responders. Likewise do mountain rescue volunteers who respond in an ambulance capacity. Come to think of it so do BASIC’s doctors!

Of course in the financial climate things need to be carefully considered, but the initial response course for specials can still work out. As per the initial five day course, specials are required to agree and affirm their long term commitment to the role etc. The courses could involve board interviews to ensure that only those that are most committed to the constabulary get a course. Furthermore, if the force was that worried about the financial returns I'm sure most specials would be happy to pay a deposit of x amount, to only be returned to them after say x amount of months of passing the course.

Right, I've sounded off now. I best get back in the box before the powers that be silence my tongue!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely agree with you yaffer. I posted this on Yammer (are you on there?) and this is what I said:

There is an interesting letter in this month's edition of Frontline (Page 16) from SC Mike Elkins which has brought up some rather interesting points. The letter talks about driver training and the lack of response skills in the Hants SC. Now, there are plenty of reasons why the force would decide not to currently train SCs to response level, cost being a big one. However, the response from Supt Rich John doesn't really mention that. The main reason that is cited is "It not so much providing our colleagues from the Special Constabulary the course in isolation, but the skills to be able to deal with the incident when they arrive." Now, I'm not sure about other specials here, but the vast majority of my time is spent on TPT. There seems to be the assumption that the role of the SC is to be SNT officers, which from my experience is not the case for a lot of the SC. I'm glad that we've now got the option for compliant stops, but I don't see this as a valid defence and it concerns me that this is the way we are perceived to the higher ranks. So do you think we lack the skills to respond to TPT jobs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think we should. If SNT are not given the training then why should someone that comes in once a fortnight?

There are lots of reasons why it wouldn't be practical to give us response training, however, I do object to the rationale that we don't have the skillset to deal with it and that's my issue. Anyway, yes it wouldn't make sense to give it to someone who comes in once a fortnight, but what about someone who regularly does 50-60 hours a month?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

50-60 hours a month is still nothing compared to an SNT officer doing near that in a week.

That's true, but there isn't the same costs associated with Specials. It goes around in circles. Anyway, that's not my point. I accept that financially it can be difficult to justify an expensive course to specials and I don't have an issue with that, but that's not the reason that was citied.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hampshiresaint - you make a valid point, but seem to miss the point that is a the crux of the current conversation i.e. the suggestion of our ability/ training. However, while on the topic of hours I regularly do 60+ hours a month, which might I add is sometimes more than the part time officers on TPT.

Burnsy2023 - I've yet to kick my arse into gear and sign up to yammer. What's the general response? (no pun intended :p)

EDIT: spelling

Edited by yaffer73

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

50-60 hours a month is still nothing compared to an SNT officer doing near that in a week.

There's 2 different thoughts here though. As stated elsewhere, some SNT officers don't work full time, and PCSOs will never need to respond. In addition, it's the role profile of the SNT officer that states they don't need a response course, no other reason. If SNT officers needed a response ticket, I am sure they'd be trained. Don't forget many on SNT have their response ticket, and can keep it by keeping it valid.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Burnsy2023 - I've yet to kick my arse into gear and sign up to yammer. What's the general response? (no pun intended :p)

EDIT: spelling

Off topic, but a response to a direct question:

Yammer is only as good as the people on it. Currently the same 6-7 names keep appearing. It needs more people to sign up to it, then it'll be a good info exchange.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I was a yammer hater, but actually it's not bad. It's also great to see the CSO not just willing to comment, but to take some shots across the bow.

It really does need more people signing up, it'll be a great tool when more sign up.

For that reason, and because this is being discussed elsewhere, i think it's case closed :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this