One of the constabulary’s newest Special constables, 21-year-old Jodie Hayes, takes us through the highs and lows of her first ever shift.
I have been nervous about new things before, but nothing like this. The anticipation of getting out and seeing a side of the community that I have never been exposed to before was a daunting challenge, but the excitement of putting my uniform on and making a difference was pulling me towards the station.
20:05. At the station a whole 55 minutes early before the start of my shift. My first heroic act of the night was to get completely and utterly lost – although I was given a station tour not too long ago, I had forgotten where everything was. Not the best start! However, thanks to a lovely colleague, I was shown to the locker room and I was able to pick up all my gear. Now I was ready to go!
First briefing was at 20:45. I was sat at the table with all of my new colleagues and I had brought the customary newbie cakes: flapjacks, brownies, shortbread and cookies. Fingers crossed that won them over! I then got to meet my tutor for the evening – she had the gruelling task of navigating me through my first shift and making sure that I didn’t get lost again. She was lovely and I instantly felt more comfortable.
15 minutes later and I was suddenly in a police car, blue lights on, sirens going and hurtling towards my first job out on the streets of Cambridgeshire. My heart was beating ten to the dozen and we pulled up outside a flat minutes later where a domestic argument and an assault had been reported. My tutor led the way and we went in and spoke to the parties involved. She spoke to the woman victim, whilst I stood in the hallway, speaking to the man who had potentially assaulted his wife. I took his details and a brief account of what had gone on before trying to check his details against the Police National Computer. In order to do this, I had to use my radio…. which was my second blunder of the day – in all the rush and panic of trying to get ready for my first shift, I had picked up a radio without an aerial. This basically meant that no one in the control room could hear me and I was facing a potential doughnut offence from my colleagues for being an idiot! After establishing what had happened from both parties the man involved was arrested and taken into custody.
Back at the station at 2 o’clock in the morning, we were finishing up the paperwork from the domestic (which there was a lot of) when another call came over the radio. This time it was a report of someone who believed their house was being broken into. Off we went once more and at the scene used the spotlights on the car to see if anyone was around. Inside the house we found the informant, who happened to be a teenage boy and his younger brother. The pair had been staying in the house whilst their parents were away for the weekend and had become scared that someone was trying to get in. After an area search of the grounds and property, and a bit of reassurance, the boys were happy and we had done our jobs for the evening, so back to the station it was. My tiredness began to kick in around 5am, when things had begun to settle down for the morning and it was just a matter of completing paperwork.
My first shift was one of the most nerve-wracking things that I have ever done, yet it was so amazing at the same time. To have somebody rely on you in their time of need is very humbling, and I can’t wait to do it again.
For more information on becoming a Special see HERE