In the third of a series of blogs by new Special constable Jodie Hayes, the 21 year old takes us through her second shift in which she makes her first arrest.
It’s so strange to think that I only graduated eight weeks ago, but the amount I have learned since then is remarkable.
My second shift on the beat was a little less nerve-wracking that the first – I’d gotten over the initial fear of my first duty and now felt like I was ready to face whatever came my way. I managed to find the locker room without having to ask this time and made sure to pick up a radio with all the right parts on it!
Briefing was at 21:00 and within minutes we were called to an incident of anti-social behaviour. It was a dispute between two neighbours and that had been an ongoing feud for many years. After filling out my first piece of paperwork with a victim we were on our way back to the station when we noticed a car driving recklessly in front of us. After running its number plate through our police computer, we were told the vehicle didn’t hold insurance. We stopped the car and had a chat with the driver, who assured us that she had insurance on the vehicle.
Just as we were about to conduct more checks to determine whether she was telling us the truth, we were asked to attend an RTC where a young male had collided with a car and come off his motorbike. We rushed back to the car and sped away on blue lights, reaching 140mph and managing to reach St Neots from Yaxely in nine-and-a-half minutes!
When we arrived we spoke to the paramedics before assisting them to secure the young man onto the stretcher. He had sustained a fractured pelvis and a possible spinal injury, meaning we had to be extremely careful! I have never been in any kind of road collision before so it was a new and surreal experience. For the first time I realised how much the public rely on us in their time of need and what an amazing and remarkable job being a Special is.
Since then, I have done another 10 shifts and things are beginning to settle and become more natural. Wearing the uniform is something that takes a while to get used to but still fills me with excitement every time I walk into the locker room.
I have since also made my first arrest, which has been the best part of my shifts so far! We had been asked to go and do an arrest attempt – these are issued when suspects are not arrested at the time of the crime. It was around four o’clock in the morning when we arrived outside the suspect’s house, who was wanted for assaulting a male and his mother with a baseball bat. It was the first time I had ever considered the fact that I might have to use my protective equipment. It was a surreal thought but I knew I had been trained well and this would kick in if I needed it.
We approached the house and knocked on the door and the man answered a few minutes later. He was half asleep, which was in our favour as he seemed calm. We asked him to confirm his name, before I arrested him on suspicion of actual bodily harm. It was the first time I had said the caution since training and was worried I wouldn’t remember it, but luckily I did it without any trouble. I hand-cuffed him and escorted him into the back of the van, before we took him to Thorpe Wood Police Station. I had a sigh of relief once he was booked into custody and my first arrest was done.
Being a Special has already filled me with so much confidence and given me so many life skills that I never thought I needed. It also makes you carry yourself with so much pride, knowing that you are trusted with a job like this.