Wednesday 15 July 2009

I have been posted with probationer officers regularly for quite some time. Most have been great, a couple have been complete nightmares, and a couple have left the job since.
Not due to being posted with me, I hasten to add.

Because of that, it's a nice experience to spend time with less fresh officers.
I actually like going out with probationers, but occasionally it's relaxing to know that I don't have to worry about what the other copper with me is doing, and can just trust them to get on with the job.

I recently had an Aid requirement which was like this - for non Met officers, 'Aid' is when you are sent off borough to Aid other areas or departments with your presence, such as football aid, festivals, protests and the like.
For perhaps the only time I've ever had this, our entire serial of officers (one, three and twenty one) was bereft of probationers, full of skilled and capable officers.

An error on duties part, I'm sure.

Because of this, despite being a very long winded, busy, and violent type of aid, it was also paradoxically one of the most relaxing and straight forward.

Every time we piled into a crowd to stop a fight, I knew that my oppo would be with me. I knew that when we went into a violent situation single file I didn't have to worry about a copper getting lost, or being unable to deal with the situation.
I knew that when we were facing off, hugely outnumbered against a drunken heaving crowd, I wouldn't have to worry about anyone saying the wrong thing to someone in the crowd.

I mentioned this last point to a good mate of mine on my carrier, as we faced off against the braying crowd in question. He had to raise his visor to hear me, so I had to repeat myself.
"Hmmm" came his answer, followed by a thoughtful expression. This was not what I had expected. "What? Don't you agree?"
Another thoughtful face.
"Well now Area, yes, in theory I do. But instead of a half dozen probationer officers guaranteed to say or do the wrong thing, we have you instead."
Outrage. This from someone I had considered a friend, for years. "I resent that suggestion, and demand an apology."
"Area, you're a nice fella, but you know as well as I do that the public order manual has nothing about bringing a packet of joke sweets to work and offering them to the other coppers on your serial. It has even less about offering said sweets to crowds of thugs. Do us a favour, I want to get home before daylight tonight. Just shush..."



Old BE said...

Well the good thing about being the "least trusted" has to be that you don't have to worry about anyone else!! It must be quite hard to work with people you don't know that well in these high pressure situations. It's hard enough in a paper shuffling office monkey situation...

Roses said...


Cheeky git.

Was that before or after you offered him a sweet?

Dark Side said...

Bollox to to have you back too..xx

Barlinnie said...

Probationer officers huh? I wonder if the 'probbies' in England are obtaining the correct level of training these days. After being wrongly accused of a motoring offence on the A1 motorway in the hell that is the North-East of England recently, I question the ethics of allowing trainees to deal with the general public.

It was evident that due to the fact that I am intimidating in appearance due to my height, and also speak with a Glaswegian accent, I was guilty in the probationar officers eyes.

My wife who holds a senior position within the Scottish legal system was outraged at the level of impudence I received from both junior and senior officers on the night in question.

We later accepted the offer of our presence in court due to a summons for inconsiderate driving, and were vindicated when the Magistrate asked why the CPS had allowed such a flimsy case to be brought before him.

Even he requested that the probationer officer was 'reassessed' and the senior officer questioned as to his own lack of ability on the night.

In Scotland, trainee officers appppear to be better trained, not to mention significantly better instructed on speaking to members of the general public.

Maybe more time spent in the classroom rather than fast cars may solve Englands very obvious problem.

No need to respond, I'm Glaswegian and unimportant to the English police unless I commit murder on your side of the border no doubt.

Barlinnie said...

Kudos to you for contacting me, and even respect for your honesty.


TonyF said...

Glad your back... Were the 'sweets' those with pepper in? A sprout coated in chocolate looks like the ambassador's finest too....

Hogdayafternoon said...

Howdy. Glad your writing again. I've had to resort to posting secondhand jokes in your absence, waiting for some job-related inspiration. Must dash. Off to a beating of the retreat somewhere.

Jay said...

Joke sweets to your work mates. Might have been a mistake. Remember "What goes around comes around". Trust no one.
Welcome back, always a good read.

Anonymous said...

There are now even Level 2 specials in the Met I hear. Would you trust them more or less than the average probationer???

The Blue Light Run said...

Good to see you back with us ATNS, its been a lonely place without you. As for the probies, I'm a tutor constable, imagine how I feel? lol

Max SPV said...

The Level II trial in the Met for Special Constables is interesting. Regular PCs in once-in-a-blue-moon Level II aid or a unit that does it all the time. It's an interesting one, they're no TSG but it'll be interesting to see how they go.

thinblueline said...

I like handing out sweeties that make your mouth blue/black/green/ yellow etc

makes for great media photos !

TheBinarySurfer said...

Nice to see you're back ATNS!

Your copper mate sounds awfully wordy, most of the ones i know would have just come out with some 5 word distinctly homoerotic joke or comment!

Marjorie said...

Good to see you back!

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