Day 1 – Monday
Today was the first day of my work experience, I was introduced to all the staff and had a morning briefing with them. After the morning briefing, I did a tea and coffee and afterwards I met Natasha – she had a problem with her tablet so she took me up to headquarters in Huntingdon. While we were there I met a lovely lady who gave Natasha her phone, and we went back to Ely Police Station, when we got back I sat down with Sergeant Priestly, we went over the social media for the station, ‘Policing East Cambridgeshire’. After we had gone over this, I met Inspector Marcia Pringle, we had a one-to-one meeting where she told me all about what she does in her job – she is very nice and loved to have a chat. I also met DC Pete Ware who is very nice and likes a joke, I had a chat with him and he told me about what he does. I was then taken out into the yard where all the cars are and I got taught how to do the service checks on the cars, this includes checking the oil, screen wash, and other things, we also have to check if the tyre pressure is okay and check the tread on the tyres. When I had finished this, Sergeant Ryan Carter took me home in his police car.
Day 2 – Tuesday
Today, I met Donny, he is the ‘wisest man in the building’, we were in the front office and I watched Donny respond to his emails for a while. He then introduced me to Louise Titmarsh who is in charge of the CCTV room. I saw all the CCTV cameras around Ely and was told how it all worked. When I got back from the CCTV room PC Mark Howe took me outside into the yard and showed me all of their equipment such as the device they use to break doors down (this is super heavy!) and he also showed me devices for breaking locks and the devices for forcing entry into a building if a person is stuck or they need to gain entry in a hurry. After he had shown me all of this gear he showed me his police support unit (PSU) gear which includes flame-proof trousers and jacket. When we went back inside, I asked how handcuffs worked, so of course he showed me. He also showed me his belt with all sorts of equipment on it such as pava spray.
Day 3 – Wednesday
Again, I sat in on their briefing and went down to the office with Donny and started writing this blog. Once I had written part of my blog Donny and I went outside to his store cupboard in the yard, we found all of the seized drug equipment and we put it in some big plastic bags ready to be transported to Parkside in Cambridge. Some of the equipment included lights for heating the drugs while they are growing, and fans to cool and dry out the drugs when they have been cut. We then waited for the mail run from Huntingdon to come and collect the equipment. Last night, we had a gentleman’s wallet handed in, and that afternoon, the man it belonged to came in looking for his wallet, when we said we had got it, the smile on his face was cheek to cheek, he was very appreciative of the people that helped him get his wallet back, and got the name and phone number of the person who handed it in so he could contact them and say thank you.
Day 4 – Thursday
I sat in on the morning briefing again, once this was over I came down to the office again, while I was in the office, PCSO Maria Robinson came in and asked if I would like to go to a primary school where she would talk to the kids about what to do if a stranger approached them and how to get help from adults. This took up an hour-and-a-half. She is lovely with kids and was very good at getting them to engage with her and listen to what she was saying to them. On the way home she talked to me about what she does in the community. I think that she is awesome. She’s very kind and the time that I spent with her was lovely, she loves a joke and a laugh and likes to engage in conversation with you. It was only 12pm but because it was market day, already two people had come in and told us about their purses being stolen, luckily both of the people cancelled all of their cards so no money could have been taken out of their accounts. Another person came in and said they lost a wallet again today.
Day 5 – Friday
Today I brought a cake for the whole team which my mum baked the day before and asked me if I wanted to bring it in. Again I sat in on the briefing and had a chat afterwards. Everyone I met at the station were very kind and friendly, all of the officers love to have a joke and a laugh with you, if you ever need to report a crime or even if you have just lost or found an item, Donny and Jessica will deal with it, they are very nice and they love to have a chat with the people that walk in, and most of the time the members of the public that have had to report something always leave with a smile on their face; Donny and Jessica do really make peoples’ day and they help them feel safe and secure being the first people in the station they see. The highlight of my week happened in the last 20 minutes of my shift – a blind man and his carer came in, they told us that he had never felt a police car and would really love to, so Sgt Carter and I took them out to the yard where all of the police cars were. The man got to try on the body armour and he even got put in handcuffs, he also got to sit in the police car and even put the lights on.
During this one week I have learnt most of the people’s names that are in the building and I have learnt how to do lots of tasks, these include checking and tasking vehicles, serving people at the front desk, but most importantly… I learnt how to make the perfect cup of tea! But, on a serious note, this has been the best experience of my life, all of the staff are amazingly kind and I would like to thank every single one of them for having me, all of them gave me loads of advice for the future and they were all just genuinely kind and they all care about the community and the people in it.
Special thanks to Sgt Phil Priestly, Sgt Ryan Carter, Insp Marcia Pringle, Natasha, DC Pete Ware, PCSO Maria Robinson, PC Mark Howe and, of course, Donny and Jessica in the front office.