This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Would you join the Force?

Today Wah posted:

Can i ask you people a question as rozzers. Pretty much off topic, but you are best placed to give me a straight answer. I've been waiting to go to Hendon for 3.5 years (i passed selection in mid-2003). Now have a start date later this year, but i'm in two minds now having waited so long. I work in a fairly mundane, repetitive role in the city (of London), but okay paid. I'm 30 years old and looking to make a career, the one i have is stagnant. So my question is...would you join the police, knowing what you know from a position such as mine? Clearly you don't know everything about me, it's more what you know as the lifestyle of a police officer. I have to make a decision very soon whether to jump, and it's driving me nuts as i don't want to jump into the unknown (as exciting as it could be) to find out i'm no better off. I've spent today reading UK police officer blogs to get an idea, but not really any getting any clarity.
Great site by the way! [We liike Wah]

All I will say on the subject is, Wah, don't read police blogs to make your decision - we are all cynical bastards and love moaning about everything. If you have the police itch, the only way to know is to join up. It can never count against you to have a few years in the police if you decide to move on. Even though we are all apparently racist, sexist, lazy and dishonest, for some reason employers still want us!

You could end up like this, or like this. But don't let that put you off.

You also get to do a lot of this, this and this.

Hopefully some of my readers can help you decide.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Blogger Bill Peschel said...

Not being a police officer, I can't directly answer his question.

But from my reading and experience, I can say he's on the right track by asking y'all what you think.

I finished an excellent book, "Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert, in which he uses the latest theories on how we think to answer why it's so difficult to find happiness.

Jump to the chase: He concludes that, based on studies and experiments, we don't have the imaginative power to accurately predict how we would react to a possible future event. The only way we can come close is by asking people who are already where you want to be.

He wants to know if it's worth being a cop. He's asking coppers. That's a good thing. If the book's conclusions are correct, he'll have a better idea if it's the life for him than trying to imagine what it would be like.

Reading the blogs must help, too.

31 August, 2006 16:04

Blogger Liza said...

I suppose it makes a big difference as to where as a police officer, your area is. London must be pretty difficult - for all sorts of reasons, but a more rural place of course would have different problems and challenges. Being prepared to see life at it's lowest - no offence - would be something a lot of us couldn't take.

Irregular hours, disrespect by many and dangerous circumstances don't appeal to me personally. I do meet quite a lot of police in my own business though, as I run a personal introduction service in the Cambridge area. I'm obviously on the right side of the law thank goodness!

31 August, 2006 17:33

Anonymous justacop said...

I love the job, the good, the bad, been doing it for over 20 years. It is not for everyone, but as has been said, the only way to find out is to join. You will either hate it or love it. Some days its good, other days it's bad. Despite the best attempts of senior officers and the home office to destroy the service I still like earlies, lates and nights and meeting different challenges.

31 August, 2006 20:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I joined the job and turned thirty whilst in Hendon training. I don't regret the decision, although I think 3 and a half years is an excessive amount of time to wait, certainly enough time to forge a happier career elsewhere.
Ultimately, if you join and hate it, then quit. It's just a job at the end of the day, and you obviously have job skills to fall back on, if you think it's not for you.

31 August, 2006 21:45

Blogger ExtraSpecialCopper said...

join as a special - see if you like it

31 August, 2006 22:39

Anonymous Canadian Copper said...

I think that one of the critical things is finding the right Police Service.

The location has to suit your 'real' life; You should be able to live where you want to live, and pay you enough relative to the local cost of living so you can live in a manner that doesn't frustrate you too badly. It also has to be a professional match too; Nowhere is perfect, but it is key to find a Service that gives you the opportunities you wish, the work that you want to do, and most importantly - find a Service whose values are a good fit with your own.

Sounds daunting, doesn't it?

Tell you this though - if you can put all those things together, There is no better life.

01 September, 2006 05:13

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it and I hate it but wouldn't leave for anything (unless I won the Euromillions rollover.........). It's a flippin good job and you get to see a completely different world. The only problems generally come from the management. Or the general public. Ha.

The most important thing to remember is: If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't (have) join(ed).

01 September, 2006 09:15

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've done it at the "coal face" for 17 years. It's not like a real job...too much fun at times! There are times when you do feel despondent though. You just have to get through them. There are always a myriad of different departments within the same job, all do different stuff to the other (some good some pointless) I'd always suggest resonse policing though.

01 September, 2006 10:18

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Would you join the Force?"

I served 30 years and have now retired.

Would I join again? To quote Edmund Blackadder, "I would rather have my tongue beaten wafer-thin with a meat tenderiser then stapled to my forehead."

01 September, 2006 15:27

Blogger Bitseach said...

Hi there,
Go for it. I have only been in 3 years (Met) and still love it. Just don't go in with an unrealistic expectation - it is a disciplined service and you often have to do as you are told and just bloody well get on with things, even when you don't wanna. I mention this only because the adverts like Police (could you)? don't. Even in my short time in The Job I have met quite a few newbies who cannot seem to grasp the fact that there is still a great hierarchy of time-in, as well as rank, and you are expected to tea make for your relief when you first join the team, do the sh1t-work, carry the pen (!) etc. However, at the same time you are learning from your more experienced colleague. Soon, someone is more junior to you and then you get the tea. It's a bit feudal, to modern eyes, but it works.

It's a bit difficult to get used to, especially when you join as an older applicant with other work experience (I was 33 when I started training school) but worth the effort. It's a testing; people need to know they can rely on you, that you're not too precious about things, that they can trust you to back them up if the poo hits.

However if you have a sense of humour (and you'll need one!) you'll have a great time, meet new and interesting people (even many crack addicts have a good story or two), learn something new every day, and do something useful for society (corny but true).

You could join the Specials for a taster. Or just join and do it. (Unless you actually are racist sexist homophobic or anything similar - then don't - we don't want people like that!) :o)

Oh yeah, one last thing - if you really are just put off by the wait, try e-mailing the Commissioner or the head of HR - in desperation a friend did this as he was about to join Herts instead of the Met, and soon got a date. I don't recommend this for any other matters but if you're about to give up anyway...
good luck either way!
PC Bitseach

01 September, 2006 20:39

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15 April, 2009 08:00


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